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Blog: Day 5: Leeds

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After kebabs we'd gone back to our hotels and to bed, meeting up bright and early next morning to go into town for Breakfast at a CAFE we'd had recommended to us by BOTH pubs we'd been in the night before. Thus SATED we went back to the venue collect our gear, and found that the delicious smell of BEER is not quite so delicious next day. We said our goodbyes again and set off to see the sea... which, due to time and parking constraints, we did at fairly high speed HARING down the promenade, waving sadly from the back of the van. Such is life ON THE ROAD.

It was a pleasant journey, though BLOODY HOT, and we got back to Leicester with plenty of time for people to nip off home or, in my case, to The Holiday Inn Express, there to meet The Open Window In My Van, who was coming up especially for the evening, as that's the sort of lovely thing she does. Everyone else got to go home every other day during the week, but I had my home coming to see ME!

Too soon it was time to head back to the venue for LOAD-IN, and I walked through a part of Leicester I used to know, but had now changed beyond recognition (well, nearly) since they knocked down the old football stadium. It was WEIRD! We got loaded in and soundchecked, and then The Fighting Cocks had arrived, our TOURING BUDDIES. They got THEIR soundcheck underway whilst we set our SHOP up - Frankie had already had tea with HIS Mrs, Emma was in Woodhouse Eaves getting ready still, and Tim was waiting for his PALS to come, so it was on The Tiger, The Pasta In My Lasagne, and MYSELF who headed off to the local ASK for a REALLY delicious tea. I saw some people i used to work with in the restaurant too, and said hello... i don't think they had a clue who i was though!

When we got back the venue was gently filling up with a HOST of LOVELY people, like Mr Whitaker and Neil and Chris and Jamie and Dave and Adrian and ... well, LOADS of people, it was brilliant. There were also several people we HADN'T known for over a decade, and SEVERAL who were in Hey Hey 16K t-shirts too, which always looks cool. Setting up the merchandise stall before the gig was a good thing too, Frankie was SHIFTING UNITS like nobody's business. I discovered at this point that maybe being on tour was getting to me a bit, as i CUT ACROSS loads of people at the bar and blithely assumed that all drinks served were for ME. The Validators "joked" all week that it was "All about ME ME ME", and it looked like it was coming true!

The Fighting Cocks went on and were AMAZING, possibly the best I've EVER seen them, with the ladies even MORE glamourous than usual and Charlie even MORE loveable - i apologise for the damage this would do to Charlie's HARD MAN OF ROCK image, but really, when you're prancing around with angels wings on (tied up by ribbons) wearing TIN FOIL underneath your fishing hat... well, what do you expect? They were utterly fantastic though, full of JOY and ROCK and TUNES, and everybody LOVED them.

After THAT it was time for US, and THIS:
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Better Things To Do
  • The Gay Train
  • Born With The Century
  • Tell Me Something You DO Like
  • Post-Subsonic Bass
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • We Only Ever Meet In Church

  • It was a GRATE gig - a favourite night for everybody (except Rob - this feeling MYSTERIOUSLY coincided with it being the only night he had to drive home afterwards...) with it being hot and sweaty but lots of JUMPAROUND FUN. SO much jumping around occured that I broke the STRAP on my guitar during , and had to LEAP OFF during The Gay Train (which we were suddenly doing a guitar free version of) and ask Charlie for a borrow of his strap, and then do the second half like PETER HOOK with it dangling down by my ankles. A couple of songs later i broke a string and had to revert to my standby acoustic guitar - PHEW! ROCK AND ROLL! Also GRATE was the DANCING that was going on the my right as Emma BOOGIED AWAY, sporting the sunglasses she'd NICKED (well, found) that Shane MacGowan had left behind. There were a LOT of dedications of songs, the encore began with me INTRODUCING THE BAND for the first time in ages, and then I got rather emotional introducing We Only Ever Meet In Church, a song about only seeing friends in pre-arranged social occassions, to a room full of friends at a pre-arranged social occasion like this. It was BRILLIANT.

    I leapt off stage to discover that Mr Mark Wilson had just arrived, a VERY old pal from School who I'd not seen for five years, so THE BEAUTY CONTINUED! There was a LOT of swaying around and CHAT and general beauty, which was only shown into sharp relief when we came downstairs to see that a number of the Arsey Pillocks mentioned in Looking At My Hands were sitting around being "cool" by not coming into the gig, ESPECIALLY as one of them was Tim's erstwhile colleague Scottish Mick, who'd come all the way from NORWAY to do so! Opinions of him and they were expressed afterwards!

    We thus left HAPPY and full of JOY in the friends we've got and the life we have, ready for the last two days of ROCK ahead!

    posted 29/7/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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