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Blog: Cambridge

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Before making my way to Cambridge last night I had an ASSIGNATION with an heroic figure, Mr T Eveleigh who runs the Freedom Of Expression gig which I played in Croydon on Tuesday and where, FOOLISHLY, I'd left my diary behind. Like a SUPERHERO he SWOOPED back to the venue and picked it up for me and, as he was off to ROCK Peterborough that night, we met at The Surprisingly Nice (for a station pub) Betjeman Arms for a PINT. It was GOOD!

As I set off for Cambridge it was with some slight trepidation as I was staying at the Travelodge, where Richard Herring had stayed mid-week and written about on his blog, in an not entirely favourable manner. I arrived to find that it was FINE, and there were no bogies on my shower curtain - I was quite disappointed really!

I got me a taxi to the venue where I soundchecked, got some grub, and settled down with a coca cola - I was KNACKERED, this was my FOURTH (4th) late night out in a ROW and quite frankly I was feeling DONE IN, so thought a medicinal coca cola might perk me up a bit. PERKING UP, however, was achieved by the sudden arrival of Mr P Finch of Newmarket - I wasn't expecting him at ALL, it was a LOVELY surprise and his arrival suddenly made it feel like the evening was worthwhile! HOORAH!

The gig itself was a bit rum - the first act was a lad who skirted close to having songs with tunes in without ever making the break for them, and who seemed to have brought a large chunk of the audience with him - this was LESS charming than the night before, however, as he led them out just as he'd finished. One normally wouldn't mind but he made the ROOKIE MISTAKE of leaving his gear next to the stage so that, at the end of the evening, he had to come back in to get it and PARADE his lack of attendance to the other bands who were still there. ROCK TIP: if you're going to leave before everyone else is on, ESPECIALLY when they have sat through your set, ALWAYS take your gear with you.

Next up was a girl who started off with a REALLY sad song, said "It's all uphill from here!" and then ended up nearly making herself CRY. She also said "I don't know what this song's about, they're all a bit vague" but then got VERY involved with it and, again, seemed on the verge of BLUBBING. It clearly DID mean quite a lot to her, tho none of the rest of us were given much clue what.

And then it was ME, by which time nearly EVERYBODY had left - the last band on were still there, Paul was there, and about six other people including a couple down the front who talked REALLY loudly THROUGHOUT my set. I tried REALLY hard not to be distracted by it - i hate it when people on stage take the audience to TASK, especially if they've PAID to get in, I always think it's the job of the PERFORMER to STOP them talking through ROCK - but nothing I did (leaving bigger gaps, singing quietly etc etc) had any effect, as I did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • It was a bit of an UBERSET, as the PR people we're hiring said they might come along and I wanted to do THE GOOD STUFF, but in the end I think it was probably best they didn't seem me Not At My Best! It was quite a short set too - beforehand the sound guy said they'd like me to do half an hour, but he was showing me The Universal One More Song Sign after about twenty minutes, and to be honest I was happy to go along with it.

    I know it seems like I am having a bit of a MOAN, but really it was FINE - Cambridge is lovely, and afterwards Paul and I STROLLED by the river and through a park back to his car, as he was very kindly giving me a lift to the station. You never know when a gig's going to be GRATE or not, and when one occasionally isn't that is the pay off for the ones that aren't. Also, Paul being there really DID make it all seem all right, as he's a lovely chap and I haven't seen him for AGES!

    Back at the hotel there were louds of - it seemed to me - TINY DRUNKEN TEENAGERS squealing down the corridors. "Will I be able to get to sleep?" i thought, SIPPING at the WHISKY i'd treated myself to. The answer: LIKE A LOG. HOORAH!

    posted 14/3/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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    As you mentioned Richard Herring, if you read his 14th March post you'll note he's never going back to Aldi.
    posted 16/3/2009 by Dan H

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