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Blog Archive: August 2006

They Keep On Coming
Is there no END to the SLEW OF REVIEW? Yet another one's just come in, this time from the forthcoming issue of Is This Music?, the musical TOME of Scotland, and it's rather a nice one - as ever you can find it on the WE VALIDATE! Reviews Page.

Right them, I'm off to Kilburn now to COMPERE at the Fortuna Pop Festival. I'll let you know how i get on!

posted 31/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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It's That Time Of The Month!
Alarmingly it's suddenly become the last working day of the month, which means it's time for the latest issue of The Last Working Day Of The Month, our nerve-jangling NEWSLETTER!. All copies have gone out now, and the exciting FEEDBACK so far is that a) there's a few lucky souls still on holiday but not many and b) several people who signed up whilst we were on tour wrote down hotmail.COM on the SHEETS, when they meant hotmail.CO.UK - i don't know what we should be reading into that, but it's fixed now!

As ever, if you'd like to get YOUR copy fresh through the interweb every month just sign up for the mailing list, and you'll get your first issue in a few weeks time!

posted 31/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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Bowlie Alldayer
Thank heavens for the Bank Holiday - I'd only just recovered from The Peterborough Beer Festival on Friday night (GRATE, but i question the wisdom of having BUNGEE JUMPING at a Beer Festival...) when it was time to head off on Sunday afternoon for the Bowlie All-Dayer at The Buffalo Bar. We were meant to be on at just after eleven o'clock in the evening, but when I arrived just after 8pm I found things were already running 45 minutes late, so i GIRDED myself for a late night and adjusted my BOOZE IMBIBING VELOCITY accordingly.

The nice but Slightly Unsettling aspect of the evening was that there were LOADS of people there i knew, like Mr A Newman and Mr M Breach, but also several people I recognised from other gigs (mine and other peoples) and also off The Interweb, but who I didn't actually KNOW. It's always a bit scary in those sort of situations - do you RISK looking like a weirdo stalker and say hello, or do you ALSO RISK looking like a weird LONER and BLANK everybody who comes your way? It is a tough call, but luckily most people had been there longer than me and so any LOOKS were fairly BLEARY.

My favourite band of the evening were, as usualy, The Gresham Flyers - they remind me a LOT of The Chemistry Experiment when they first started, as I expect them to be a bit cack-handed, ramshackle and more loveable than Actually Good, when, as with The Chemistry Experiment I have NO REASON AT ALL to think so, especially as in FACT they are BLOODY GRATE - GRINS erupted around the room as they started playing a packed set of TOP TUNES, notably this time involving quite a lot of dancing on THEIR part, which is something i wholeheartedly approve of. I'm seeing them again in a couple of weeks and i look forward to it immensely, as they were ACE.

Tim and Emma arrived just as The Gresham Flyers were starting, and after that it was time for a Heated Debate about the setlist, which this time turned into more of a Lengthy Negotiation, as all of us had songs we'd like to do which the others OPPOSED. There was plenty of time to discuss it though, as the Running Lateness EVOLVED to over an hour - a CONSTANT for all all-dayers and not really a problem, except this time it meant we were playing WELL past our respective bedtimes, and we eventually took the stage at GONE MIDNIGHT, and played THIS:
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Better Things To Do
  • Dino At The Sands
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • Mental Judo
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • A pretty unusual set for us, based on what we COULD play without Tom and Frankie, and for some reason more tending towards BALLADRY than normal. It felt really good though - the monitors were EXTREMELY LOUD so to start with I could hear my vocals much much more than anything else and very nearly asked for them to be turned down, before realising this was EXACTLY what I usually beg for so perhaps should just get used to it. With only the three of us playing it was a much LOOSER sound, and I think it helped the SINGING, especially the "la la" bit in Dino At The Sands which i THINK was quite nice, though obviously i may be deluded about that! The crowd was noticeably thinner than it had been earlier on, largely because it was a Sunday Night and the Last Tube had LONG gone, but there were a good few people there who seemed to enjoy it, and there were various groupings of people SWAYING GENTLY throughout. That may not have been ENTIRELY due to us, however.

    We got off, packed up, and then The Pattisons began the long journey back to The Midlands, whilst I watched Strange Idols - I'd seen them before with The Gresham Flyers in Bethnal Green a few months ago and not been massively impressed either way, but this time they seemed DEAD GOOD - TAUT and POPPY and rather good fun. Soon, however, it was time to get going MYSELF, so after a few HUGS and CHEERIOS I stepped out into the night to get me a Proper Black Cab home, with a driver who played very old very lovely SOUL MUSIC all the way to Leytonstone. LOVELY.

    Today I looked on the BOWLIE forums, and The Kids seemed to have enjoyed us, which is lovely, and somebody even took some pictures - we're on this page here, and down a bit, if you fancy a look. Don't we look SMART eh?

    posted 29/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    All Music Guide
    I've just discovered another review for WE VALIDATE!, over at the All Music Guide by that nice Mr Ned Raggett - thanks Ned! He's also done us another review, this time of Warriors Of Nanpantan, which was rather an unexpected TREAT!

    posted 29/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Fighting Cocks
    Another night out last night, as I was off to ISLINGTON to see The Fighting Cocks. One of the MANY improvements in their STATUS of late is that these days they play MUCH MUCH MUCH nicer venues - a few years ago I seemed to always be seeing them out in cranky old nasty pubs MILES from anywhere, but recently it's been a LOT a) easier b) more pleasant to hang around where they're playing. I haven't been in The Hope & Anchor for AGES, and it was MOST pleasant, even if the BEER seemed to be off. Followers of my BOOZE HABITS will be pleased to hear that this time i very sensibly DIDN'T default to Bad Lager, and had a couple of tasty pints of GUINESS instead.

    I arrived to find the downstairs DESERTED, as there'd been a Running Order Switcharound, so went upstairs to find The Cocks sitting with the chaps from Phoenix FM, and so we fell to CHATTING for a little while, before following the band down for the gig itself.

    It was absolutely GRATE - yes, I know i always say that about The Fighting Cocks because really it is TRUE, but this time it seemed EXTRA GRATE. Maybe it's the touring they've been doing, or maybe it was just that the sound was really good, but they sounded FANTASTIC, and BY HECK the dance routines were CRACKING. I've always said that the Women Cocks have had a good influence on Charlie because... well, because they obviously HAVE, but now I'm starting to think he's having an influence back on THEM, as every seemed extremely UP for it and only SECONDS away from GURNING FOR JOY.

    Also rather groovy was the fact that the set seemed to be very largely made up of NEW songs (or at least from the new album anyway), and it all sounded BRILLIANT. There was a LOT of singing along, lots of LARFS, and the best bellow of "BEER!" at the end in the "England! BEER!" song (can't remember the name...) I've ever heard. It was just ACE. INDEED i felt privileged to think that THEY were the band The Validators have done the most gigs with. HOORAH!

    Being a London Resident of some years standing i felt another surge of DEEP CONTENTMENT after they'd finished as I realised that - OH BOY! - i was in good time to get to Blackhorse Road and get the over-land train home, cutting my journey time in HALF. This is the sort of thing that gives me BIG THRILLS, and thus it was an EXTREMELY happy Hibbett who strode off into the night, a mighty big grin plastered all over my MUSH.

    posted 25/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Even MORE glamourous glamour for on Wednesday night, in picturesque BRIXTON for the album launch DO for Sarandon's new album. The evening started well with me meeting Mr Carsmile Steve in an Actually Really Nice Pub just off the high road, in what appeared to be ALBERT SQUARE. Cool! We had a bit of an old chat before making our way up the hill to The Windmill where we met Mr and Mrs Phil (Indie Legend) Wilson, who it's always lovely to see. They were also heavily involved in the ROCK GLAMOUR, as later on in the evening Phil was sat at a table with Alan From Big Flame and Keyboard Chap OUt Of Scritti Politti! It was like being in the indie version of OK! magazine!

    It'd be called "All Right Then" magazine, I suppose. Anyway, we missed most of Stuffy & The Fuses due to CHAT, including Steve explaining to me what the word ROCKIST means. I've seen it bandied about on the interweb for ages without being quite clear what it means, but now i DO know - it's a form of insult, used to describe people who refuse to countenance music that does not fit into certain guidelines - actually, now I say it like that, it seems quite a sensible sort of thing to use AS an insult, though last night I argued AGAINST it. Hmm... the only possible difference i can see between now and then is that i have significantly less LAGER running through my bloodstream now. Could this possibly be an explanation?

    Then it was time for The Scaramanga Six, who were ACE - it seems almost unbelievable, but I haven't seen them play for about 15 years, when VOON supported them at The Pump & Tap in Leicester! I've seen Being 747 several times, but never since have I viewed the FLAG SHIP of the WRATH FLEET, and I was pleased to be able to do so.

    Finally SARANDON took to the stage, and they were GRATE. They played the WHOLE of their new album, "The Completist's Library", all 28 songs, and it was BRILLIANT. I've been listening to it quite a lot just lately, and it's MASSIVELY grown on me. All the songs are SO short that you don't really get the time to get to know them the first few times you listen to it, but now i've had loads of listens they've REALLY gotten under my skin. I spent the journey home with "Manky" on constant play in my BRANE, this morning it was "Angela" and this afternoon it changed to "Pin-Ups". Anyway, LIVE they were really really good, and the fact they had to RACE along to get all the songs done made it RATHER exciting. Phil got up to sing his GUEST spot, and later on he retook the stage to sing "This Town" with them at the end... i think that's what it was anyway, it was done at high speed and I was a bit TIDDLY, but it was SMASHING!

    Full of INDIE FUN and also LAGER we cavorted round for a bit before wending our weary way homewards. It really was a lovely evening, and i do HEARTILY recommend the album, it's DEAD GOOD!

    posted 25/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Shopping And Pictures
    Since last we spoke I have been BUSY doing a few updates to the website, to make it EVEN MORE DELIGHTFUL. One especially GOOD IDEA I had was to tidy up the SHOP a little bit. We've branched out in all sorts of Exciting Directions since I first put stuff up for sale online but haven't really reflected that in our Merchandising Methodology, which meant the whole thing was getting a bit cluttered, so i have TIDIED it. Now you'll find Albums and EPs listed in a seperate section to the T-Shirts (including the I VALIDATE! tour t-shirts, of which we have a scant few remaining), and I've also put the SPECIAL OFFERS for BULK BUYERS in their own seperate bit, just because recently people have paid FULL WHACK for things which they could get a bit cheaper that way, and that is something that has caused me WORRY.

    It's not all been COMMERCIAL ADAPTATION though, I've also FINALLY got round to putting the pictures up for our recent tour. OH! How long ago and far away those joyful days of ROCK, SWEAT and BEER seem to me now, GODS OF ROCK i beseech thee, let it happen again someday!

    posted 23/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Financial Wizardry
    In amongst all the INSANE ROCK and GLAMOUR that constitutes the bulk of my daily life there are of course brief glimpses of NORMALCY and that - just now, for instance, i have been and opened myself a Building Society Account! OH YEAH!

    I've not had a savings account since i was about 10, largely because I've never really had any spare CA$H but now, thanks mostly to the CARE and TEACHINGS of The Sorting Code On My Bank Account, I am actually OUT OF DEBT with a tiny bit of money left over. Now, normally this would be the signal to RELEASE A RECORD, but this time I thought I'd investigate whether THE HIBBETT HUNDRED(S) could be more wisely invested, preferably in an account where it was really difficult to get at the money. As I spent part of yesterday thinking "Maybe i SHOULD get myself another guitar?" i thought it was best if i took action SWIFTLY.

    THUS i went to the Chelsea Building Society, MOSTLY because they come top in all sorts of surveys, but also because... well, because it sounds POSH. In much the same way that you always get the best Indian Food in the restaurants that Indian people eat in, and the best BEER in pubs where men with pipes, moustaches and their own tankards DRINK in, I reasoned the best place to put my money would be where THE RICH PEOPLE put theirs.

    I was not disappointed when I visited my new branch. After me there came an Well Spoken Elderly Lady , who was dealt with Very Nicely by The Nice Young People who made up the staff. "AHA!" i thought, "OLD MONEY!" While we were being dealt with a RIGHT ARSEY COW came in who DEMANDED to be served, despite both tellers being engaged. She waited for TWO MINUTES shaking her head and tutting, then DEMANDED to know the name of the manager ("NOT the Assistant Manager! The MANAGER!"), complained BITTERLY about having to wait (in a bank, in a city, at lunchtime), BARGED in front and forced the woman dealing with ME to deal with HER, and then made a BIG SHOW of counting out all her money, to make sure she had not been STIFFED. "AHA!" I thought once more "The Self-Importance and Need For Recognition of The Recently Rich! WELL have i chosen!"

    When all was done they gave me a Paying In Book, which was MOST exciting - although i was slightly disappointed to find it didn't say "MASTER Mark John Hibbett" on the front, nor did I get a free clipboard or Griffin Savers Dictionary. Still, I was pleased with my FINANCIAL ACUMEN i went and got my lunch from BOOTS, utilising my MEAL DEAL card to get - oh yes! - A! FREE! LUNCH!!

    QUAKE, oh ye LORDS OF FINANCE, for LO! There art a new DEITY on the scene!

    posted 22/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    I'll Be Godley, You Be Creme
    Back to B3ta Towers last night for some more EDIT ACTION for the video of The Gay Train yesterday, and OH BOY did we get a lot done. We got the proper audio track stuck in, then assembled the INTRO ("In Peterborough was where I was raised..."). We filmed lots of little snippets for this, like me sitting in bed, holding a Spectrum, showing things on a map etc, and it was lovely to watch it very gradually come together, vaguely in the way you'd imagined. It was, in fact, a LOT like when you record songs - you might have an idea of how, say, some HARMONIES might work alongside a backwards guitar part of something, and as you record each one you tend to WORRY in case it's all a waste of time and/or rubbish, only discovering either way when it's all finished, and when it DOES work it's a mighty relief. That's how it was with all this - later on there's a bit where I walk past a sign pointing to Balham, which felt very weak and pointless when we did it, but now it's all editted together properly it looks GRATE!

    The main difference is that, with songs, you put things on top of each other to make it all work, so the whole song gradually gets better, whereas with this here VIDOE stuff you put things one after the other, so the goodness gradually gets LONGER. Does that make sense? I'm not sure if it's an important ARTISTIC DIFFERENCE, but a difference of some sort it most definitely IS.

    Anyway, we trundled through, LABOURING against the fact that Mr Manuel hadn't really used the software package before (although he had some experience of VIDOE) and also that I had NO IDEA at all how any of it worked. However, we are both COMPUTER TYPES so the fact that we were learning how we went along made it MORE FUN, in a weird GEEKY way, and we had several typical computer bloke conversations i.e. "First we must ascertain whether it is the file, the software, or the computer itself that is undergoing difficulty." "Indeed - quick! To GOOGLE!"

    It was looking REALLY REALLY GOOD - we'd got as far as the first proper chorus, with LOADS of Dead Good Bits, including me TELEPORTING (OH MY how chuffed we were with that bit!) and The Terrified Tourists, as well as lining up all three of the Full Performances (Full Body Camera/Face Only/Moving Camera) and were feeling PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THINGS, when suddenly DOOM AND FEAR! The whole thing started going all CLUNKY and CHOPPY and, basically, CRAP. We spent about half an hour WORRYING, trying to work out what on earth had gone wrong, and when we EVENTUALLY found out (FUNCTION KEYS were being used, and the key for FUNCTION: BUGGER EVERYTHING UP had accidentally been pressed) and fixed it, a GRATE WAVE of JOY spread throughout the room. Our triumph was such that we decided to watch through the whole thing and GIGGLE DELIGHTEDLY... several times!

    Shortly after that it was time for me to go home, which I did with a heart full of JOY. There's still LOADS left to do, and when next we meet in a couple of weeks time i doubt VERY MUCH that we'll get it all done, but HEY! The song itself took MONTHS to record, I don't see why VIDOE should be any different. The main thing is that it's looking REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD. I am EXCITED!

    posted 22/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Secret Garden Party
    I was up bright and early on Sunday morning to go to The Secret Garden Party. I'd originally planned to go over on the Saturday afternoon, but luckily had decided against it - on Friday night The Tents In My Campsite and I went over to Burton to see some Lovely Pals, but ended up getting a series of decidedly UNLOVELY trains and Replacement Bus Services (NOTE to train companies: a bus is NOT an adequate replacement for a train) which meant it was VERY late when we got home.

    Still, as I was only going to be there for the Sunday I thought I'd best get as much festival as I could, so arrived in Huntingdon just before lunch, got checked in to my HOTEL (oh yes! I am TOO OLD for tents and wasn't due on stage until nearly 10pm) then taxied off to the festival site. I arrived and memories FLOODED BACK of when I used to go to Glastonbury, with everybody walking at FESTIVAL PACE (NB Very Slowly), loads of red, confused faces that obviously had had very little sleep, and FESTIVAL CHIC in full effect i.e. Wellies, short trousers, and ANORAKS tied around the waist.

    I had a bit of a wander around and saw some Traditional Festival Sights (Man Drunk Asleep In Dance Tent? CHECK! Naked people running for the open air showers? CHECK! Newly coupled couples snogging? CHECK! Huge piles of paper cups near the beer tent? CHECK!) and noted with some AWE that LOADS and LOADS of people were wandering around in COSTUME, which was very impressive bearing in mind that they still had the energy to CAVORT on their third day. I checked in at the Living Room Stage, where they seemed surprised I'd turned up so early, and soon i began to realise WHY most people playing festivals don't turn up for the whole weekend... for LO! I was on my own, with no tent to go back to, and eight hours to kill during which I couldn't have too much to drink.

    Oh dear! I thus did quite a bit of wandering around and saw some music - Holly Golightly and Grandadbob were GRATE - and ended up buying the paper and sitting and reading it for several hours, in a RELAXED way. As the day went by i got more and more into the Festival Groove, tuning DOWN the old BRANE and just enjoying the way things were going, especially as we moved into evening and there seemed to be twice as many people around.

    At long last it was time for me to go on - Lord Bridge, the compere, cut short a very funny BIT with the soundman putting effects on his voice (it was funny at the time, honest!) and I went on and did THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Red & White Sockets
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • Very much an UBERSET, but also rather SHAKEY. During The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B) it became clear my guitar had suddenly gone BADLY out of tune, so i ended up singing most of it ACAPELLA, which didn't work TERRIBLY well, and then having to stand in front of people to RETUNE, which i am NOT very good at. Still, i got it sorted and got going, tho NERVES appeared and i had to ABANDON an attempt to do The Fight For History halfway through the first verse, as i forgot the words! ARGH! I then started to PANIC, and ended up cocking up Fucking Hippy quite a bit too, missing out a verse somewhere along the way. OH DEAR!

    The setlist was going AWRY by this point and I was playing FAST - after Billy Jones Is Dead I only had three songs left to do - so I tried to calm myself and WREST CONTROL of the situation BACK, doing Red & White Sockets and The Perfect Love Song as extras before going into The Lesson Of The Smiths. By this time all was MUCH better - people even cheered during the "Peace And Love is still a bloody good idea" bit, which is ALWAYS a good sign. I'd noted that the quieter songs seemed to be going quite well, and as i STILL needed extra songs to fill up my time SLOT, and as I was feeling rather less PETRIFIED by this point, I decided to have a go at It Only Works Because You're Here. Aaah! I was really glad I did too, it was probably the best received song I did. Note to SELF: you don't always HAVE to do the shouty sweary ones to get people on your side. Note to any VALIDATORS reading: this song is going to be GRATE when we record it! Honest!

    Much happier now I finished up with my traditional CLOSERS, both of which went down dead well, with a PARTICULARLY enjoyable version of Boom Shake The Room to end things on. I staggered off backstage, then went back through the TENT to find a few very nice people who wanted to buy CDs off me, which was LOVELY. I then hung around for a bit drinking BRANDY TEA (DELICIOUS) to see if Boo Hewerdine would make it, as he was going to try and come down if his plane got in on time, apparently, but obviously it didn't so I called a taxi and was GUIDED through the site to the Taxi Rendezvous by possibly the FRIENDLIEST security people I've ever met - they waved BYE BYE to me as we set off in the car!

    I got back to my hotel about midnight, RELIEVED once again i wasn't camping, and had myself a Nice Cup Of Tea. It was quite an experience all round, really. Anyone looking at the pure financial STATS would question the validity of going - i spent most of the day sat around on my own, and as the stage was run by SHELTER the only money I made was on a few CD sales, which went NO WAY to covering the CA$H I'd spent on train fares, taxis, hotels, beer and GRUB. HOWEVER, and handily for ME, them there financial STATS aren't the whole story. I also had a LOVELY time meeting lots of very nice people, saw some dead good bands, and mostly learnt many VALUABLE LESSONS about Festival gigs i.e. nobody actually minds if you don't turn up for the whole things, it's more fun to have PALS with you, you don't HAVE to swear and shout for people to enjoy it, BRANDY in tea is a tasty treat in tents just as much as it is at home, and HOTELS are pretty much ALWAYS worth it.

    I tell you what though, i'm KNACKERED now - I'm SO VERY GLAD i didn't camp!

    posted 21/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Back To The Old House
    It's AGES since I've been to Leicester by train, and so last night's trip was the first time I'd departed from the excitingly new looking version of St Pancras INTERNATIONAL. It's still a couple of years until The Midlands Embassy is fully restored to its old GLORY, but the new roof and all that looks DEAD good. Will the shop selling Proper Leicester Samosas be refurbished and reinstated though? We can only wait, wait and pray.

    I was up in Leicester for the evening for two reasons - to record the basic tracks of Other Bands' Setlists for us on the new single and, first of all, to have a practice with Tim and Emma ready for our appearance at the Bowlie All-Dayer (only a few tickets left, EAGER TYPES). This didn't go quite according to plan - for a start Tim was delayed by 1.75 hours (of a two hour practice!) by his rotten old BOSS turning up and demanding a meeting. Emma was only delayed by about 20 minutes by BABYSITTERS, but this was compounded somewhat by us sitting around having a CHAT for the next half hour. HEY! None of The Vlads get much chance to do this with each other,it is valuable BAND TIME.

    We practiced Other Bands' Setlists for a while and got it sounding Pretty Good (especially when Tim eventually got there), and also ran through Mental Judo, The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B) and Dino At The Sands for possible utilisation in the 3-piece LIVE ENVIRONMENT. I must say i was pretty chuffed, also RELIEVED - next weekend's gig looks like being Rather PLEASANT now.

    That done we removed ourselves to the next floor down where we were soon joined by Mr Reverb. It feels like AGES since we were all last in with him, and I entered fearfully, apprehensive of the GREAT CHANGES that must surely have been made - it's at LEAST two years since I was last in, and back then he was girding himself for major refurbishment.

    The walls are yellow! OK, that's not all, he's had a BIG clearout of some of the crap in the control room, tho surely no single skip was enough to take all of it, and is now waiting for a new ceiling. In the words of the song, it made the room look bigger. The live room, however, is EXACTLY the same, with the same setlists, same bits of wire, and, still stuck to the door, the same tetchy notice regarding the June 2002 Electricity Bill. It was good to be back!

    All went very smoothly - me and Tim recorded the song itself in two takes, I did my vocal in one, Emma went straight through her main vocal (with one drop-in) and then double-tracked it, and then suddenly it was time to GO! I had to catch the train otherwise I'd not get home, so left the remaining vocals in the capable hands of Kev, Emma, Tim and Tom (who'd recently arrived for this purpose) and strode next door to catch my train. As we trundled out of the station I considered how LUCKY i am now to be in a band where you can do that sort of thing. Apparently it all went very smoothly, and within a few weeks we should have a rough idea of how it all sounds together. LOVELY!

    posted 18/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Tired Of Looking At Myself
    Last night saw me making a return visit to B3ta Towers where myself and Mr Rob Manuel gathered to begin the process of editting together the video for The Gay Train, which we filmed a couple of months ago.

    Job One was to go through the 70 minutes of footage we'd shot and work out what was supposed to go where, and which bits were particularly good. This was quite jolly to start with, but quickly got a bit boring as we'd DILIGENTLY done lots of re-shots, and there was a lengthy section comprising of me singing the whole song sitting down, then singing sitting down by moving around, then singing it standing up, then singing it glaring straight into camera. It was all a bit much, although shortly after that there was the dancing viking and the FEZ bit, which was quite good.

    It took quite a while to get through as there were several times we needed to stop and rewind to catch the time for a Good Bit, but eventually it was DONE and Rob set to transferring the whole thing onto The Editting Computer. "Estimated Time", it alerted us, "Two hours!"

    I took this to be a sign from THE GODS OF ROCK that we had done ENOUGH for one night, especially as I was getting MIXING FEET i.e. a phenomenon which occurs when I have to listen to the same song for the fifth or more time and am possessed with the urge to RUN AWAY - this used to drive Mr Kev Reverb WILD [ish] with RAGE as he'd spend half an hour twiddling away at things and ask "Is that any better?" and I'd have no idea as I'd been drinking beer, watching telly, and reading Asterix books. I felt that the video would be MORE GOOD if we did it in short batches while it was still PLEASANTLY ENJOYABLE, rather than plugging away and hating it by the end.

    Seems like a good plan to me - and it DOES look like it'll be rather good, I must say. Seeing it again made it clear that it's very MUCH an old-fashioned eighties-style MADNESS video, with The Story Of The Song being played out through LARKS and Multitudinous Cut-Aways, and the various "Two Terrified Tourists" bits ALONE will, i feel, be worth the effort of the whole thing. It'll be a good while yet before it is done but it will, i reckon, be GRATE!

    posted 16/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Plan B
    I nipped nervously into The Virgin Megastore yesterday to see if the new issue of Plan B was in - i say nervously because last time i ventured therein it was KERRANG DAY and the place was PACKED with TEENAGERS looking very clean, pretending to shoplift, admiring each other's heavily applied mascara, SLOUCHING, and generally making me feel OLD. This was especially the case when the bands started playing. "But this is bloody awful", i thought, "It's like somebody's heard Napalm Death and thought 'this would be so much better if it went on for HOURS, wasn't half as good, and involved a lot of petulant whining about being sensitive/enjoying the idea of looking at corpses. Also with some heavy metal guitar solos'". UGH! It was CRAP!

    ANYWAY, this wasn't going on yesterday, so my metaphorical CARPET SLIPPERS went unworn, and Plan B WAS in, where there was a very lovely review of WE VALIDATE!, which is now in the reviews page (along with a lengthy review from DVD Fever from last week too). There seems to have been some confusion along the way, as it's Hey Hey 16K, not The Gay Train that "two million other folk... are in love with", but HEY! maybe not for long, for LO! tonight I'm off to help EDIT the video for the aforesaid VIDOE, and who knows what JOY may follow?

    posted 15/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    SO Futuristic
    Somewhere in the depths of the Interweb the INTERGNOMES have been beavering away and HOOPLA! We're on iTunes!

    You can now BUY WE VALIDATE!, Say It With Words and This Is Not A Library online from them. I'll try and put up proper links to them all in the SHOP over the weekend, but for now if you DO use it and would LIKE to get some of our stuff (or even if, like me, you'd enjoy looking at it and saying "ooh! modern!") you can do so via This Link Here. Whoo!

    I'm quite GIDDILY excited about this, as I'm PRETTY SURE this is a terribly modern thing to do, although in all honesty I'm not really sure how it works as I've never used the iTunes Store for anything. I'm especially CHUFFED because it means that This Is Not A Library is once more available to purchase. HECK YES!

    I'll also try and get the I VALIDATE! tour t-shirts up in the shop while I'm at it, and if i FLY like the WIND we could even have the tour gallery online. On the other hand I AM seeing my brother for lunch tomorrow so it could all go a bit BEER SHAPED. We shall only know... in the FUTURE!

    posted 11/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    More Showing Off
    My tiny head is EXPANDING a bit at the moment, as I'm involved in some sustained SHOWING OFF, re-writing the Official Vlads Biography to put some of the most recent EXCITEMENTS in. Sometimes you just want to type "But enough about us, how about YOU?"

    I've also done a little bit of this for our new improved front page. IDEAS POWERHOUSE Mr T Pattison pointed out that it wasn't particularly exciting before, and might benefit from having a summary of recent activity and forthcoming thrills, rather than forcing new visitors to TRAWL through this very blog, and I think he's correct/

    Meanwhile we have another REVIEW in, this time from DVD Fever. I'd not thought of The Other Rush Hour having anything to do with daylight savings time, but I guess it is a VALID INTERPRETATION!

    posted 9/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Power Of The Press
    Yesterday afternoon WE VALIDATE! RACED up the Amazon Sales Chart by about 90,000 places, as we sold two more copies through them. "Something", I thought, "has happened!"

    My suspicions were confirmed when I got home to find the latest issue of the rather brilliant WORD Magazine had arrived, with a rather smashing review from Ms Jude Rogers. It's dead good, and to celebrate the FACT that our Print Media Cherry is well and truly popped, I've put it online, along with all the other reviews, on the WE VALIDATE! Reviews Page.

    There's rather a lot of them - i was quite surprised - and they're pretty much all GOOD. I've left all mis-spellings intact (including the MANY of my surname) as well as mis-quotings and, in some cases, misunderstandings, because HEY! I believe in presenting the whole truth. If anybody knows of any other reviews do let me know and I'll put them up too1

    posted 8/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Me And John
    I spent most of the weekend doing HOUSEHOLD and then FAMILY things, which was all very lovely, and also trying to write my second column for SANDMAN. I ended up taking ADVICE from the Ink In My Printer and NOT doing it about Myspace (as every other bugger has already so done) but INSTEAD doing it about our recent tour. I think it turned out Quite Good, but you can see for yourself in a few weeks... well, you can if you live in The North (of England) anyway. I'm not even sure if the FIRST of my mighty columns has reached its public yet - do let me know if you see it, won't you?

    MEANWHILE Fire Escape Talking recently asked me to answer a letter originally sent to The Beatles, in their ongoing series of people answering letters originally sent The Beatles - you can see my attempt at their webpage. Hey! It might not be very helpful, but at least it rhymes!

    posted 7/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    I've just put up the pictures of us at Maida Vale the other week, and they're rather ROCK! I'm going to try and get the whole tour done soon - I did intend to do it this weekend, but I've just discovered that instead of giving me a CD of my pictures BOOTS has supplied me with a series of shots of severe looking men sitting in front of viaducts. Come on BOOTS, at least give us something SAUCY!

    posted 5/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    Tin Pan Alley ACTION
    Yesterday I went for a bit of a wander down Denmark Street to look at GUITARS and then started off back to work down the alley round the back of the 12 Bar, where I noticed that there's a RECORDING STUDIO.

    Now, at the moment we've got a b-side for the next single to record AND a song for the next Sorted Compilation to do, so i thought HEY! Why don't i see how much THIS place costs, and do at least SOME of it there? I rang up and ended up booking myself in for a session... TODAY!

    THUS at 2pm I went in for a VERY pleasant hour long session at Studio Sonic. The people there were DEAD friendly, the equipment was nice, the room was set up for me before I got there and it was all just very pleasant INDEED. We recorded The Story Of My Life, which will be SUBMITTED for the Sorted compilation, Other Bands Setlists as either a DEMO or Emergency Basic Track for the next single, and ... er... "Sweet Child Of Mine". Hey! There was time to spare!

    I'll put the latter on the MYSPACE (when and if it gets working properly...) and hopefully the other two'll be heard fairly soon. It's just SO nice to be able to go and knock off a few songs so easily, I shall VERY MUCH be doing it again!

    posted 3/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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    New Songs
    In all the touring excitement I'm not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but the latest news is that THE SONG BUNG: IT'S OUT!

    As long-time PALS may know, every now and again, usually when we've got a lot of new songs ready to learn/record/play at gigs, my subconsciousness sticks a BUNG in my SONG PIPE. It's happened with every album we've recorded, and there's always ONE song that makes it go POP - after Say It With Words it was Easily Impressed, after This Is Not A Library it was The Lesson Of The Smiths and a few weeks ago, around the release of WE VALIDATE! it was It Only Works Because You're Here.

    FIRST SONG AFTER THE BUNG has a proud tradition of Being Quite Good, but the songs that follow it have usually been a bit VARIABLE. There's been THREE more since then, all available for perusal on the NEW SONGS page, and I must say I'm rather fond of them all this time around. We Can Start Having Fun is a rather sad little number that I don't know what we'll do with, Other Bands' Setlists was written ON TOUR specifically to be a b-side of the next single, and will hopefully be recorded soon, whilst The Story Of My Life is some messing about I did on Sunday which, if the Vlads will let me, will be a CANDIDATE for a track on the next Sorted compilation.

    See what you think anyway - hopefully MORE will follow!

    posted 1/8/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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