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Blog: Reading: ROCKED

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A swift train journey after work last night and i was in READING, home to... er... one of the first PASTIE shops I ever saw outside of Cornwall and... oh yeah, the festival! I was met by Mr T Pattison, and we walked then drove about moving GEAR from place to place before settling in at NANDOS for tea. I've not been there before and i was Quite Impressed - my Spicy Veggie Burger was a) proper spicy b) proper tasty and c) a joyous reminder of how Veggie Burgers USED to taste, when they only ones you could get came as dry powder that you had to add water to, leave to stand, and then make yourself. They were DEAD NICE, and, as Tim said, the whole place was Fast Food that WAS fast, but didn't taste like Fast Food. We say, WELL DONE to Nando!

Newcomers: don't panic, you've not accidentally come to a high class RESTAURANT REVIEW site packed with incisive comment on the state of British Cuisine in the 21st Century, it just LOOKS that way.

We wandered back to the venue, 3B's, which we'd earlier visited to drop of our STUFF, and found that The Pines were there and getting things set up. We then had a RACE to see whether we could get the PA set up before Tim got his drums sorted out: it was a close run thing but WE WON. If Tim tells you otherwise he is just confused. It was actually another little bit of NOSTALGIA for me, as we used to set up the PA ourselves all the time, many years ago when I was in VOON and The Council and we used to play in loads of Top Rooms Of Pubs, but you don't tend to need to do that sort of thing when you play normal Venues. I enjoyed doing it, I must say - Setting Up The PA is one of the MANY valuable TRANSFERABLE SKILLS that A Life In ROCK has given me.

We did a quick soundcheck, after which the landlord said we had to turn everything down. The only thing going through the PA system was the vocals and, as anybody who's ever seen us play will know, there is NO Volume Control on Tim, so i craftily PRETENDED to turn down the guitar amp... HA! Take that, THE MAN!

Soon it was time to start playing, with The Pines going on first and being GRATE. There were SKIFFLE-ICIOUS throughout, even going so far as to do a Lonnie Donegan song, and their whole set was really "songy", if you know what I mean - PROPER SONGS with ace tunes and - excitingly - PROPER GUITAR SOLOES too. It was LOVELY - honestly, go have a listen on their website, especially "On A Roll".

Soon it was time for me and Tim to go on, and this is what we played:

  • Hey Hey 16K
  • The Gay Train
  • Better Things To Do
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • The Saturday Lunchtime Wrestlers
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • We Only Ever Meet In Church
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • Boom Shake The Room

  • We had a BRILLIANT time. One of the main reasons for doing the gig was that Tim works down in Reading a couple of days a week, which meant that LOADS of people from his work turned up, and there was a proper crowd who - increasingly upsettingly for me - would CHEER WILDLY whenever I mentioned his name. GAH! There was also a bunch of blokes who sung along RAUCOUSLY with Leave My Brother Alone, and a sect of KNITTERS who had come along to promote KNITTING by sitting in the pub, KNITTING, many of whom got into the gig and ALSO danced. At one point there was a mini-moshpit at the BACK of the room, centered around Mr J Pennycook who had obviously reached his TIME TO DANCE level of drinking. It was just GRATE - everybody seemed to enjoy it, there was a LOT of chat between songs (and this is by my own LOTS OF CHAT standards, i.e. there was REALLY a lot) and MUCH fun was had.

    Afterwards we went over the road for a swift After Gig PINT at REFLEX, Reading's EIGHTIES CLUB, which served Tim the FOULEST pint of Lager i have been near in MANY a year. My GUINESS was very nice though I must say - I had also had a couple of DELICIOUS pints of Davenport's Bitter earlier on, it was REALLY nice. Loads of Tim's work were there, and I chatted to a bloke who knows how to play The Sitar, which was quite exciting.

    We strolled home to the hotel TIRED but very happy. We ROSE at a reasonable time this morning, met for BREAKFAST, and then headed off, Tim to work and - i expect - a HERO'S WELCOME from his colleague, and me to the train. When i got on the tube I saw Neil Kinnock standing on the platform at Oxford Circus! It's not particularly relevant to the gig, I know, but it WAS quite exciting!

    So there you go - READING, we shall RETURN!

    posted 19/10/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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