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Anyway, I got to Nottingham with HOURS to spare, so thought I'd have a go on the TRAM. The tram map wasn't HUGELY helpful - it showed the route of the tram, but was missing most of the NAMES OF THE TRAM STOPS, also the names of the flipping STREETS it actually went down. The map looked very SLEEK and TIDY, but not actually very informative... anyway, i checked it against my own map and reckoned I could get a tram roughly in my direction, so DID so. It was VERY nice and VERY futuristic, and i LOVED it when it ZOOMED over Nottingham, passed familiar shops and sites, and was sorry that I was only going a short distance on it.
I got off and was back in the Nottingham that I know and... well, don't really like. I realise my anti-Nottingham feelings are founded in BIAS, not least the fact that I lived in LEICESTER for 14 years and so came to look upon it as THE ENEMY. There's LOADS of lovely people there and we pretty much ALWAYS have a GRATE time when we gig there but there always seems to be an atmosphere about the place. It's sort of like The Midlands in the STAR TREK MIRROR UNIVERSE.
I was MUSING upon this when I arrived and thus was RELIEVED to find Sam Tasty, the promoter, sporting NEITHER a goatee beard NOR an eyepatch... although the pub WAS conforming to all known Nottingham Stereotypes by telling him that they USED to have four way adaptors, but they had been NICKED.
I knew the Vlads weren't going to be getting there for AGES, so after briefly greeting Mr Pete Green I headed off to SQUEAKS, an veggie restaurant I had seen on the Interweb. It was dead nice, tho i was STUFFED full of VEG and SAUSAGE and GRAVY by the end of it, and wobbled back to the venue a DENSER Hibbett than I had been when I left. I had a nice chat with various people, including Mr Green, sundry Chemistry Experimenteers and COHORTS, various BOWLIE types, and the unlucky Marianthi who, once Pete had told me she was setting up a record label to release his record, was unable to avoid the DIATRIBE OF ADVICE. In my defence, before I even begun i said "Here is some advice: it will be quite boring and will last a LONG time, because it is (as previously stated) quite boring and so i very rarely get the chance to subject people to it." It is, however, GOOD ADVICE. Just a bit boring.
Mr Machine arrived, ASTONISHED to find he wasn't the last to get there, with some Lardponies and PandaZ, and soon it was time for Horowitz, who were REALLY good. It was loud and drum machiney and a bit Jesus & Mary Chain-y and there were REALLY GRATE GUITAR BITS in it and it was THOROUGHLY GRATE. I really enjoyed it!
The Pattisons arrived and, now quorate due to THE TIGER being off sick with a virus, we fell to a general CHAT and LARF, before it was time for Mr Pete Green. This was the first time I'd seen him since he'd taken up my (not quite as boring, but still) ADVICE to get a guitar strap, and I must say i was RELIEVED to say he was taking to it WELL. He even did the EXCITING thing of finishing a song and DRAMATICALLY walking away from the microphone afterwards, something it took me AGES to work out. Before the set he'd said "The only thing with playing standing up is it makes it harder to play bar chords" - and he said it like this was a BAD thing, so obviously he still has a LITTLE way to go, but apart from that it was ACE - Crowd was HELD and FUN was very much HAD. HOORAH!
We missed most of The Orchards due to "discussion" (NB Ritual ARGUMENT) about the setlist. It usually a rhythm section thing - Tim always wants to do something different, I always want to do things i KNOW (NB when I say "Rhythm Section" in this context i mean, of course "Old Gits") and Frankie just likes saying "Oh no, we can't possibly do that" at random intervals, to see what happens. EVENTUALLY we sorted it out, with the agreement that, as this was pretty much the LAST time we were going to do a (nearly) full-band gig with the WE VALIDATE! Tour Set, we might as well do it properly, and went upstairs.
Once The Orchards had finished we FLEW into action - it was gone eleven o'clock by now, and The Pattisons had baby sitters to get back for, and also we all worried about the traditional People Being Too Drunk And Going Home PERIL that occurs at this point of some evenings. We got everything set up (including the drums, which until then had been in their boxes) and were ready to GO... then stood around for five minutes whilst the RAFFLE occurred. That done... we stood around for a bit whilst Joey The Compere did a SONG, and THEN, my friends, THEN we did THIS:
Give Us A Kiss (for Christmas)
The Gay Train
Leave My Brother Alone
Billy Jones Is Dead
The Advent Calendar Of FACT
We Only Ever Meet In Church
The Lesson Of The Smiths
Hey Hey 16K
It was GRATE - although it begun RATHER shakily. We'd not done ANY soundchecking, so levels were all OVER the place - the GTR was especially RUM, especially especially when I tried using my footswitch, and it took a few goes to SORT it. It also didn't help that i bust a string in the first song - FOOLISHLY i had CONSCIOUSLY THOUGHT beforehand "I won't bother getting my other guitar out, it'll be FINE" and was considering what to do when the HEROIC guitarist from Horowitz LOOMED out of the crowd to lend me his. THANK YOU! We also couldn't really hear what we were doing, but everybody in the audience seemed quite happy and so we STEAMED through it, and MUCH fun was had, with DANCING from all corners, SWEATINESS from similar and, I must say, some EXCITING (to me at least) GTR HISTRIONICS towards the end.
By the time we'd finished we REALLY had to go, so the ENCORE was done at EXTREMELY HIGH SPEED... and actually sounded the better for it. Once completed we packed up EVERYTHING at double quick pace and PILED into cars, pausing only to say thanks VERY much to the MANY lovely people who were there. It'd been GRATE!
I stayed over at The Pattisons', and this morning got the bus into Leicester where I'm staying at a HOTEL - hey, i've been POORLY, i gots to take care of myself! So far I have had a bit of a wander round (I'm currently in the foyer of BBC Leicester, where there are free interwebs), watched a bit of cricket, and had a CHARMING lunch with Dr Neil Brown, consisting of a DOSA: it's the Exciting Food Craze Of The Future!
And tonight I'm off to SUMO, hopefully to ROCK it, and in the process SHATTER my own personal record for Most Gigs In A Year. HOORAH! HOORAH for ROCK!
posted 14/12/2006 by MJ Hibbett
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Your advice was so bloody helpful, I might actually have to start a label for real now. Oh.
posted 18/12/2006 by Marianthi
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