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Blog: Woodhouse Eaves

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Saturday lunchtime this weekend just gone saw me STRUGGLING up the steps at Leytonstone High Road station with a guitar on my back, a guitar in my hand, a wheely case of STUFF trundling behind me, and on my mind a FEAR, for LO! i had incurred THE WRATH OF TIM.

A few hours earlier I had been getting ready to set off to Leicesteshire for our Christmad Gig in the Woodhouse Eaves Village Hall when Tim had called to check what we were doing for amps, and I confessed that I'd just assumed it'd be OK, and as far as I knew we had amps for Tom and Rob, but NAUGHT for me. Tim was not best pleased with this, as he'd been dashing around sorting a PA out, so I said I'd sort it out - HOW, i did not know. I got onto the train for Leicester and consulted with Tom and also Frankie, to little avail, after which I had a BRANE WAVE: for heaven's sake, this KEEPS happening - I'm 36, shouldn't I have a GUITAR AMP of my OWN?

Thus I arranged to meet Tom at Sheehan's music shop, opposite the station, and was soon STRIDING in... only to find it full of ACOUSTIC guitars only. OH. After a while a GENTLE FOLK HIPPY came over and, after questioning, revealed that they DID have an electrical guitar shop, but it was two doors down. It'd been a while since I'd been in there, so thanked him and exited AVALON, strode a few feet down the road, and entered VALHALL.

I asked for some help and then answered the phone to Tom. He'd gone into the wrong shop - what a twit eh? CUH! Doesn't he KNOW they have two shops? He soon came in along with his lovely girlfriend Rachel, who I'd not met before, and whose first impression of me was based on me standing with my AXE around my neck, ROCKING OUT. I think that's fair enough - it's pretty much the MEAN STATE of me, isn't it?

Anyway, we tried out an amp that was on OFFER - it's a Fender 900 (i think - it's still in The Midlands at the moment) with an in-built tuner and a FOOT SWITCH, and it is GRATE. We very easily got an ACE sound out of it (and later I was OVERJOYED when Mr F Machine set it up so I could EASILY use the foot pedals, and have it sound BLOODY GRATE), it was knocked down from £349 to £299, and best of all it still had a green card label in the shape of a star saying "WOW" on it. On condition i could keep the "WOW" star, I bought it. After a tense moment they agreed to my condition, and thus it was a VERY pleased Hibbett who was soon struggling along the road to The Tigermobile, feeling EXTREMELY ROCK AND ROLL with his new amplifier. AT LAST, we are a BAND COMPLETE!

We got to Woodhouse Eaves Village Hall to discover Tim surrounded by GEAR. It was a BIG PA, and we spent a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours putting it together - it was like CHRISTMAS with MECCANO! The only problem came early on, when we couldn't work out where two particular wires went. Tim didn't want to admit defeat to the Big Men At The PA Hire Place, so Tom rang for him, and we soon got it sorted out. Were we pleased with ourselves? YES! Did we feel EXTRA MANLY? VERY MUCH SO!

Francis Albert once again demonstrated his TELEPATHIC POWERS by showing up JUST as we were finishing off, and so we set to with the preliminary soundcheck. It sounded GRATE! Emma arrived and we did the proper soundcheck and that TOO sounded GRATE - being a soundman is EASY!

Emma went off to get CHIPS while we worked out the setlist. You'd think it'd get easier as you get more songs that (in theory) you can play, but this does not seem to be the case, as now everybody feels FREE to say "No, let's not do that one, I don't really like it." Where once we would play ANYTHING that we had played from beginning to end ONCE, nowadays we are PICKY, and so we spent AGES arguing about it. The NICE thing about being in The Village Hall, however, was that some arguments could be easily settled. For instance, i stated that I was unsure whether I remembered how to play Tell Me Something You Do Like so we went back on stage and had a go. It was BRILLIANT!

We had our chips, tidied up, listened to Turk soundchecking the Tube Bar discotheque, and then had a nervous hour or so waiting for people to turn up. It was a bit strange watching people come in, as they were a curious mixture of GROOVY VILLAGERS and Big City GROOVERS, a little nervous to be out in the countryside. As ever I was IMPRESSED at the efforts some people had made to get there, especially the BOWLIE MASSIVE who'd come en masse to see us, and was all pleased with how it was turning out.

Soon it was showtime, and this is what we played:
  • The Gay Train
  • Better Things To Do
  • The Fight For History
  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • Tell Me Something You Do Like
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • We Only Ever Meet In Church
  • Give Us A Kiss (for Christmas)
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • The Advent Calendar Of FACT

  • As far as I was concerned, it was GRATE. From where we were standing the sound was ACE, and it felt REALLY good to be all playing together. I particularly enjoyed playing with my different pedal settings during We Only Ever Meet In Church, and it was EXCITING to be able to do The Advent Calendar Of FACT as a band in The Live Environment at long last. We had FUN.

    Apparently, however, the vocals we a bit unclear, which does go A LONG WAY to explaining why my HILARIOUS remarks between songs didn't get COLOSSAL LAFFS (and that is the ONLY explanation). It also felt a bit ODD, with everybody sitting down a LONG way away, but it also felt NICE, and as I say, we had a GOOD time.

    Afterwards I had CHATS with several people, including my PALS Chris, Karen and Jamie who had come hence from Leicester, as well as Ellen who'd come once again from Blackpool, and soon Our Group were GETTING ON DOWN to the Tube Bar Disco. OH the SHAPES that were THROWN! And OH the SITTINGS DOWN that were necessitated by the frequent bouts of NUTTY DANCING!

    When we finally left the building Turk became embroiled in argument with a woman who claimed that all he'd played was eighties music, and that ALL eighties music (not just Eighties Theme Bar Eighties Music) was shite. It got a bit HEATED, so Tim went over to drag Turk away... and became EMBROILED in it himself. The rest of us went back to Chez Pattison and I must confess i was SO knackered I had to put myself straight to bed.

    Next morning I felt a little unwell - can't THINK why that would be - and would have liked to have sat still, in bed, with a cup of tea, but ALAS this was not to be, as we had to go back to the hall and pack away. This meant bringing down the entire PA, packing it away, and then loading it into Tim's car. THEN we did the same for all our gear and packed it into Emma's car, and THEN we variously packed up the disco, put away the tables and chairs, and tidied up the hall. There weren't as many of us doing it as the night before and we were all a bit groggy, so it WASN'T a huge amount of fun, and things weren't helped by the fact that Turk's car alarm was broken and going off every two minutes, rising to a CONTINOUS HEAD MANGLING BLEEP for the last half hour.

    Happily Emma was able top give me a lift into Leicester, so I didn't need to wait for the bus, and i was RELIEVED beyond measure to finally find myself sat down on the train. I was, however, ABSOLUTELY KNACKERED and feeling QUITE UNWELL, and was not entirely surprised to find i was once again suffering from BABOON BOTTOM!

    For recent readers and for those who've blocked it out of their minds, this is something I had a year or so ago really badly (and occasionally get when I'm a bit run down) where my Psoriasis flares up like MAD in one PARTICULAR area and... well, makes my bum turn bright red. It's a bit like having an arse-shaped health-related LITMUS ARSE!

    THUS I spent the afternoon and next day mostly lying in bed feeling sorry for myself, and today wandering round the house feeling a bit tender, and HENCE the delay in posting this report. I hope to be back at work tomorrow tho, and ready to ROCK tomorrow night!

    posted 12/12/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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