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Blog: Abbey Park Festival Weather

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On Saturday we went for a LENGTHY STROLL around Maida Vale, which was SMASHING, especially as Scheduled Engineering Works meant we had to take a detour and go via St Johns Wood, and thus ABBEY ROAD. HOORAH! It still gets me all excited, and i have been there MANY TIMES, LO! even having been INSIDE it once when we mixed The Fabians' single. We also had a wander round Little Venice, and AMAZING Garden Centre from a parallel dimension hidden behind some houses, and sundry other WONDERS. And then we came home and i watched QUITE POSSIBLY the BEST episode of Doctor WHo... EVER!

All was lovely and well and things continued in this fashion on Sunday, when I stomped off through the rain to St Pancras, to get me a train up to Leicester where I was due to play at the Abbey Park Festival "After Show Party". For those unaware, the Abbey Park Festival was a LONG running event in Leicester's Abbey Park where, once a year, there'd be a day of local bands. My earliest memories of it are Cornershop (the first time they were famous) playing in a big marquee, but over time it developed to have several stages, including in the last three or four years a Sorted Stage, upon which i played in various GUISES and also helped RUN some times. The last one was about eight years or more ago when (i think) the organisation that had been set up to run it (after the council stopped funding it) went bankrupt.

It was back again this year - SORT OF - as part of a larger festival celebrating 125 years of Abbey Park itself, but unfortunately ALSO back again was the traditional Abbey Park Festival weather. When it was sunny the festival was a BRILLIANT day, as loads of people who'd never go and see local bands would turn up for a look in the sunshine, but if it was rainy it'd be awful, as no-one would bother. REPORTS from the EVENT seemed to suggest it was more the latter this time, which was rather a shame.

It certainly was a grotty old day - after soundchecking i STRUGGLED out into the RAIN, also WIND, to find some chips and after 15 minutes felt MOST dejected, so goodness knows how GRIM it would have been to be doing that in the MUD also. I got back into the warm and was soon met by The Lawsons, Mr Whitaker and Phil, and Ms E Pemberton, dedicated Away Supporter, and we fell into CHAT of a jolly kind for a short time before i was due on stage, where I did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • Never Going Back To Aldi's
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine
  • The Gay Train
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Payday Is The Best Day
  • Billy Jones Is Dead

  • Leaning On A Lamppost

  • The set COMMENCED with me feeling a bit NERVOUS/TENSE, as the bulk of the people who were there were PUNKUAL TYPES who'd come to see New York Scum Haters, the RAMONES covers band who were on after me, and there was a feeling in my MIND that there were looking ASKANCE at me. I don't think this was necessarily the case, as there WAS clapping and indeed an ENCORE, but sometimes these ideas get lodged in yr MIND and there's not much you can do about it! I did TWO brand new songs, Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid and Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine, both of which felt quite good, though it was the LATTER I enjoyed the most. After THOSE were done, however, things started to PICK UP for me rather as i CAREERED into what was meant to be my traditional ending SECTION, which starts with >The Gay Train and The Lesson Of The Smiths, then would usually go on to Easily Impressed and Boom Shake The Room... HOWEVER, I got the general idea that AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION might NOT be the best thing to do in this particular case, HENCE the VEERING OFF into a few rather OLD songs - Fucking Hippy was IMMENSELY pleasurable to do, and as Mr Whitaker had been shouting for Payday Is The Best Day I did that too - it felt GOOD!

    And then, as I say, my INNER PARANOIA was EXTREMELY surprised to get an encore, though perhaps NOT quite as surprised as the AUDIENCE seemed to be when I paid tribute to Our George. HAPPY now with what had occurred we retired to the downstairs bar, where we were joined by Sorted Supremo Dave Dixey for a VERY pleasant evening of discussion on Subjects Various.

    Next morning I left The Whitakery (where I'd been gracefully HOSTED) fairly early, hoping to avoid the legions of Derby fans who'd be going down to Wembley. I failed utterly, as the train was PACKED with them, but I needn't have worried as they were all LOVELY and on EXTREME Best Behaviour - it reminded me of how JOLLY and EXCITED everybody had been all those years ago when I went to see Posh. The best bit though was just as we were Arriving Into Saint Pancras, when the announcer said "Welcome to London, please mind the gap" (etc etc) "... and COME ON YOU RAMS!"

    It made me smile for the rest of the morning!

    posted 29/5/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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