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The Last Working Day Of The Month: Issue 11

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(MJ Hibbett & The Validators FACT, December 23rd 2005 )

Hello all, welcome to the ELEVENTH issue of our YULETIDE YODELLING newsletter, with a special welcome to our several NEW readers this time. I'm back from my International Travels full of Seasonal Goodwill to one and all, so let's make it HAPPEN shall we?

GIGS TO COME

This month I shall be playing the following places:

Saturday January 14th - Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich
Friday January 27th - The Boardwalk, Sheffield

These will both be outings for our new Power Trio line-up of me, Tim and Tom - MAXIMUM ROCK, MINIMUM baby-sitting! Full details of prices, addresses and links are available as ever from the gigs page at http://www.mjhibbett.com/gigs.htm .

GIGS WE'VE DONE

I've played a few fairly REMARKABLE gigs since last we were together. Just before I left on my circumnavigation I played first on the bill at Foxfest in Lewisham. It was a BEAUTIFUL thing, down Lewisham way they do things in STYLE, and this time there was even a GREEN ROOM with a BUFFET for all the acts, alongside the usual cameras, radio-mikes, comperes and all round CLASSINESS. A few days later I played at The Cake Shop in NEW YORK. Due to it being The Night Before Thanksgiving it didn't turn out quite as I'd thought, not least because the chap whose guitar I was going to borrow couldn't make it, so I had to play ACAPELLA! I've never done that on my own before but it seemed to work out all right, especially as it was an open mic night so I only had to do two songs. A couple of weeks later I played a rather longer set in Whakatane, New Zealand, at my brother's wedding reception. This was BRILLIANT fun as, bless him, he's played my stuff continuously to all his pals, so everyone was dancing and singing along. It was lovely!

RECORDS

As some of you will no doubt be aware the AAS Christmas Album "Kung Fu Santa With A Christmas Punchbag" is out NOW, and very lovely it is too. If you've not got one yet there might still be a few available from the Artists Against Success website (http://www.artistsagainstsuccess.com), but they've been going pretty quickly. After all these years trying to get people interested in our records, it turns out that all we had to do was give them away for free!

It features us, Johnny Domino, Plans & Apologies, The Frightened Prisoners Of The Kraken, Frankie Machine, and Doctor Coca-Cola McDonalds, with each of us doing a Christmas tune and an EXCLUSIVE new song. Our tracks are "The Advent Calendar of FACT" and "Never Going Back To Aldi's", both recorded while we were in Cornwall, and they're in very good company INDEED. All the bands are, of course, loved equally by myself, but if you got me in a headlock and forced me to choose a favourite I guess it would have to be "June In December" by The Frightened Prisoners Of The Kraken, it fair brings a tear to the eye!

Meanwhile we're off to DERBY next month to try and re-record "Better Things To Do" and have a go at "Dino At The Sands" for the album. It wouldn't be one of our records if we didn't take much longer than expected to actually get it finished!

Finally, I've submitted a couple of tracks for a Tasty Fanzine online compilation - "Down The Narborough Road" (as heard in the Select-A-B-Side competition a while back) and "Zipcodes", the title-track from the American Cassette that will, hopefully, still be coming out one day. I think it'll be out around the end of the year - check http://www.tastyfanzine.org.uk for details!

RADIO

On the same weekend that we're recording in Derby I'm also in deepest ESSEX recording a quick Creative Session for Phoenix FM. They're getting 10 different people in for one hour slots throughout the day, which seems like it could be very exciting and/or HAIR RAISING. Meanwhile "The Advent Calendar Of FACT" has been played on Kooba Radio and Another Nice Mess, and in both cases it made me feel all CHRISTMASSY - thanks!

OTHER THINGS

The main ACTION that's been occurring has been my trip round the world. It was GRATE. We went to New York, San Francisco, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Singapore, and had a pretty excellent time wherever we went. My favourite places were New York (I do, in fact, LOVE New York) and Hawaii, which was just BRILLIANT all round. It's a bit strange to be back in the UK and find it so COLD after all that HEAT on the other side of the world, but Emergency Christmas Shopping is at least taking my mind off it a bit!

On the way round I managed to do a bit writing for my ROCK MEMOIRS, which I mentioned last time. I've got to have a Sample Chapter and Chapter Plan worked out by the end of January for the Editor Guy to take to his BOARD, after which I guess we'll know whether it's really going to happen or not. All very exciting, and very much HELPED by Mr Ralph Tait lending me a LAPTOP for my trip which came in EXTREMELY handy, not least because it meant we could LOG ON from our hotel rooms as we travelled. Thanks Ralph! The main thing I've written so far is Chapter One (it seemed like a good place to start), which concerns the New York gig mentioned above, and manages to squeeze in lyrics and explanations for "The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B)" and "Breaks In The Journey". It'll be re-re-re-written over Christmas quite a bit, but I think I've got into my STRIDE with it now, so hopefully it'll all come together... news of how I get on will, doubtless, form quite a large part of the BLOG for 2006.

Next time I shall try and do a ROUND UP of the year just gone, as well as more NEWS on The Album and other RELEASES, but for now thanks VERY much for listening, and I hope you have a FANTASTIC festive season!

Cheers,

Mark

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