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Blog: Day 5: Sheffield

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Throughout this tour I was very careful to take the time to SAVOUR it. I often look back to previous tours and think "That was a LOVELY time" so thought I'd try a bit more enjoying it WHILE it was happening, rather than just worrying about stuff.

Our final day was one of the MOST enjoyable, and also one of the most like a HOLIDAY. Myself, Francis and The Tiger all got up and SHOWERED then Frankie made us all breakfast - BEAUTIFULLY he used the two Big Mugs for our teas, and ended up having to make himself TWO small cups to match us. We then HOPPED on a bus into town and had a good old fashioned WANDER round the shops.

I haven't done that for YEARS. We went and had a good LOOK ROUND Waterstones then SLOPED across town, stopping to look at where some NIGHTSPOTS of old were no longer there (not as many as have disappeared in Leicester, i bet, but still) and then on to Jumbo Records, where we did some SERIOUS BROWSING. Again, I've not done this for YEARS and had a LOVELY time. I bought the new Jeffrey Lewis Album (because I really love the singles) and "The Liberty Of Norton Folgate" (because every review said it was AMAAAZING) and also The Best Of The Temperance Seven. My Mum used to have a small pile of early 60's POP ANNUALS from her YOUTH, featuring the likes of Tommy Steele, Billy Fury etc etc but also always a band of, apparently, Crazy Loons called The Temperanace Seven. I always wandered what they actually SOUNDED like, and know i know: They sound GRATE.

Also in Jumbo we saw a display of R2 Magazines, so had a photograph taken with them, thereby completely destroying the COOL i had tried to create chatting LOFTILY about Jeffrey Lewis's live show with the Record Shop Boy. Oh well, I never WAS any good at that.

We had our lunch back in Waterstones' cafe then AMBLED back to The Packhorse, where we had some more BEER. I was extremely conscious of the fact that starting drinking again at this time on a normal Tuesday would be at LEAST frowned upon, and did a bit more SAVOURING.

Tim arrived, we loaded up the Van (we were by now an action packed yet LITHE Van Loading Machine) and set off to Emma's mum's... with a slight diversion to ZAM ZAM's, home of the BEST Onion Bhajis in BRITAIN. Frankie doubted Tim and I's claims... until he TASTED one. We ate them as a PICNIC in Roundhay Park, it was QUITE delightful.

After a cup of tea at Emma's Mum's we were once more On The Road and very soon in Sheffield. We were VERY pleased to find The Stock Room was open, so unloaded our GEAR and sped off for the long promised CURRY. I was a bit surprised to find that the place we went into had NO Vegetarian Main Dishes! Eh? Surely that's not right, is it? They DID however have an amply provided BIG BUFFET so we all went for THAT - it was only 6pm so we had it to ourselves, and of it we had a LOT.

We didn't get back to the venue until 7.30pm - we knew the soundman was due at 7pm, so i felt a bit bad about it but was RELIEVED to find that The Rocky Nest had taken the initiative and started soundchecking. THEY, however, looked like they'd been caught by the vicar with their pants down in the VESTRY, and LEAPT out of their skins when we walked in. They were all set up, all 38 of them, with drums, trumpets, glockenspiels didgeridoos etc etc miked up, but said, QUAVERING "Sorry! Do you want to do your soundcheck now?"

I don't know why they were so concerned - they kept apologising all night, when all they'd done is GET ON WITH IT while we were stuffing our faces. It was rather SWEET! They finished soundchecking, we did OUR bit (with ANOTHER lovely and GRATE soundman, who was concerned about PANNING the sound of the amps!) then went to the pub to bicker about setlists. Foolishly I'd told them that our friend Ellen had sent me a list of bird-related PUNS based on our song titles, and so Certain Validators decided to write the whole LIST out that way. "Dodo Moorhen Eke Lesser Spotted Grebe" was a good one, but after twenty minutes of this I had to make my exuses and FLEE.

I arrived back at the venue to find a whole HEAP of lovely people in attendance, watching a whole HEAP of loveliness in the form of The Pete Green Corporate Juggernauts (the PG CJs, as I am going to call them henceforth for EASE). The Rocky Nest came on next and CONFUSED me by being VERY different from when we played with them in Hull (i later found out that this was because they'd had about three major line-up changes isnce then) but PLEASED me by being brilliant - there was all SORTS of sounds being made, in a surprisingly TIGHT way, that was kind of FUNKY, but GOOD.

Then, with the grim inevitability of DOOM it was time for US to do our final set, and it was THUS:
  • It Only Works Because You're Here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Do More Eat Less
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • All The Good Men
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid

  • Easily Impressed

  • Starting with It Only Works Because You're Here was a BRAVE EXPERIMENT but didn't, I think, really work. The rest of the set seemed to go down OK, tho it was a little embarrassing having to wait for Tim to PICK his way out to get off "stage" before we could officially go back on. The Stock Room is quite a POINTY venue RIGHT on a very sharp corner, so he was a bit wedged in. Usually when we do Easily Impressed in Sheffield Marky Velodrome will shout something "humorous" during the "OI HIBBETT" bit, but as he now resides on the other side of the planet I thought this would not be occurring. Little did I know he had DEPUTISED Dan from The Juggernaut to do it for him! Never have I been so TOUCHED to be called a "yer twat" before!

    And then that was that - we packed up, had one last picture taken, and got moving Southwards. Frankie was dropped off first and then The Pattisons with huge piles of DRUMS, and it was LATE when The Tiger and I finally got back to Tiger Towers. There was WHISKY.

    Next morning I was up early and, much too quickly, on a train back to London and Normal Life. It had all gone so quickly, but it had also been SO much fun. This was definitely my FAVOURITE tour - it was certainly the least hassle, best organised and most FUN, but was also a JOY to be IN, having looked forward to it for so long. All right, it wasn't the best attended - the people who DID come who lovely and a DELIGHT to play for, but it was noticeable that we weren't attracting many NEW people - but that does happen sometimes. There'll (hopefully!) be other gigs where crowds of The Curious come, and really it was nice to have so many nights in the company of people we knew and liked.

    Which applied even MORE so to the people I spent MOST of the time with, The Validators. What a BRILLIANT bunch of people to spend five days drinking, farting, swearing, eating and occasionally playing songs with - let's go and do it again sometime SOON!

    posted 2/6/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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    Thanks for not mentioning the "incident" at the start of the gig involving the lighting of joss sticks
    posted 4/6/2009 by Francis

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