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Blog: Leicester

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Back once again to Leicester yesterday for a gig that was proving DIFFICULT to sort out. As noted a little way below, this was subject to last minute alterations, and quite a bit of stress at this end to sort it out. The short version is that we'd originally booked to play at Sumo, with us onstage at 10pm. We later discovered that the chaps who'd booked us were THEMSELVES playing a gig at The Charlotte that night which was night, to say the least, an IDEAL situation. You can't expect someone to promote YOUR gig when they're also promoting THEMSELVES just round the corner! However, there was a tragic accident earlier in the week when a young local chap died suddenly - he was a much liked member of the local SCENE too, so everybody was really upset and especially the guy doing the sound at Sumo, who was unable to do it now.

It looked like the only option was to move us over to The Charlotte after all - in theory it was a good move, as there would be people there anyway, but the only way they could fit us on to the bill was for us to play first, at 8.30pm, upstairs rather than downstairs. CANCELLATION was also an option, but as I knew people were going to be coming down ANYWAY, and as I'd also BOOKED and paid for my hotel room, i wasn't keen!

As well as this Emma was off SICK, and Frankie ended up having to drive - our lovely little plan of a nice gig in Leicester where we could play the songs we'd been learning at a nice time to some PALS at a convenient time was all in DISARRAY. As is my WONT I tried to put a POSITIVE SPIN on things, but found that, actually, when time expressed his annoyance at the situation i could actually AGREE with him. This felt BETTER, as I was no longer INTERNALLY FIBBING, but also made me feel like a bit of an ARSE, as I was complaining about things that really, On The Grand Scale Of Things, don't really matter, ESPECIALLY in the light of the week's events in Leicester. You can't really in good conscience have a STROP about your starting time when somebody's friend has died, can you? GUILT!

We went round the corner to The Criterion and had a LOVELY pint, and noted with INTEREST that there was a stage there, and we harboured delicious DREAMS of playing a proper gig in a place with NICE beer... then went back to The Charlotte to do our soundcheck. There was no official soundman upstairs, so we sorted it out ourselves, then went back downstairs to look for Frankie who arrived with LESS THAN A MINUTE to spare, marched upstairs, and played THIS:
  • The Gay Train
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • The gig bit was PRETTY GOOD I must say, or at least it felt that way to us, tho it seems that we are still not exactly EXPERT at doing our own sound. I messed up Hey Hey 16K, which i seem to ALWAYS do - in fact, it was me thinking "Aha! We seem to be playing the song CORRECTLY for a change!" which made me lose my place and go WRONG - and which was a SHAME as i NOTED a couple of people in the audience actually singing along. People crowded round the door quite a bit, which meant that halfway through there was a MOB of people who couldn't get in! As Tim said, it must have seemed to THEM that this was the BUZZINGEST GIG EVER, even though there was AMPLE space once you got in!

    So yes, that was all NICE and people seemed to quite like it, and the organiser chaps seemed happy - again, they're such nice blokes that i felt IMMENSE GUILT at even INWARDLY complaining about the way things had been moved round. Frankie left for home - we should TIME him, i'm sure there is a WORLD RECORD attempt at SPEEDIEST In And Out At Gig in the offing - and then we went downstairs, to once again SWAY in feelings, as I realised that there were now LOADS of people downstairs, including a couple of folks who had just been to the Sumo to see us, discovered the change, and dashed over to just miss us. ALSO the fact that our early playing meant other potential VIEWERS weren't there, and ALSO the fact that this was, after all, in LEICESTER, where one is ALWAYS keen to LOOK GOOD, and I found myself heading downwards to THE DUMPS again. I'd wanted to watch My Sad Captains who were on next, and had been ACE when we played with them last year, but found that what i REALLY needed was to HIE round the corner for a PINT.

    So that's what we did, pausing only to say farewell to Tim who was off to - ROCK AND ROLL! - do a big shop on the way home! In the pub I discovered a juke box full of ELVIS and also tables full of PALS, which helped IMMENSELY in the cheering up stakes, and the evening continued in an extremely JOLLY way.

    I still feel a bit fed up about how a gig I'd been looking forward to so much went wrong, and also IMMENSELY GUILTY about a) feeling that way in the circumstances and b) even WANTING the gig to be more. Part of me thinks "Ooh, look at him - does a radio session and suddenly thinks he's LIAM GALLAGHER or something, to GOOD to play the upstairs room at The Charlotte!" and I wish that part of me would pack it in!

    I got back to my HOTEL at a reasonable time and woke this morning at a very UNREASONABLE hour which meant i was able to get the train and be HOME in That London by 9am - ACE! WHen I got back The Topping On My Pizza pointed out, WISELY as ever, that this is all part of the ROLLERCOASTER of EMOTIONS that is ROCK - there'll be gigs just like this again in the future, just as there'll be GRATE ones, and that is all part of the RIDE. She is CORRECT of course, and hopefully this evening's gig at POPTIMISM will be back to ROCKING FORM.

    I hope so anyway - if not, we may turn EMO!

    posted 6/4/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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