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Blog: Good Times In Cambridge

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I slunk off the Kings Cross after work last night to catch a train to Cambridge for a GIG. I was VERY EXCITED INDEED about it for reasons stated previously (my first "proper" gig-style gig for AGES, also i was supporting Chris T-T) and right away I was reminded how DELIGHTFUL touring by train can be. For years now I have read my weekly dose of comics ONCE and then saved them for a second reading on the TRANE. This means I get several months' worth a series to catch up on, which is IMMENSELY satisfying. As I'd not been on a train for YONKS I had a wide range to choose from, and so had a RIGHT relaxing time with the past six months of The Avengers. I know I could do this ANY time, but being on a train (or, later, in a B&B) is one of the few times my BRANE thinks "Right, I can't really DO anything else right now, so i GUESS i can relax. JUST FOR A BIT MIND!"

From Cambridge I got a TAXI (GLAMOUR) to my B&B, where I'd stayed before, and allowed myself the luxury of a SHOWER before wandering down the road to The Portland Arms. It was a bloody GORGEOUS summery evening, so i dared to do my stroll without a JACKET! KRAZY, I know, but worth it!

At the venue I met Steve, who was organising, Mr T-T, and Anna Madaleine, sister of same and fellow performer. Once soundchecks were done we went outside for a CHAT - I do love a bit of SHOP TALK, and Chris is a FOUNTAIN of ROCK KNOWLEDGE in such situations. I should say that I wasn't just RECEIVING information - I also introduced Anna to the joys of MILD, and the phrase "Avoid The Beer Called Old: Drink The Beer Called Gold", which i think all young people should know.

While this was goinging on our TEA arrived. We'd been told they'd got some "Veggie Food" for us all, and I was expecting something involving Hummus, Bread Producs and/or salsa. I LIKE these things, don't get me wrong, but I was OVERCOME with GLEE to discover that what they'd ACTUALLY done us whas CHIPS! BEANS! VEGGIE SAUSAGES! It was FANTASTIC!

Soon it was show time, with Anna on first - she was dead good, ENTIRELY different from us, doing this here young person's ELECTRONICA sort of thing. It SOUNDED lovely, but also featured... well, I don't know really, I felt like a CRO-MAGNON looking on in confusion as HOMO SAPIENS fashioned TOOLS - there was SAMPLES and BEATS and sort-of ACTING and MOVEMENT and all KINDS of things beyond my ken. It was GRATE, but made me feel OLD!

Then it was MY TURN, and I did THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • The Gay Train
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Dinosaur Planet
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • If I wasn't already feeling a bit ANCIENT I certainly was halfway through as I FORGOT huge CHUNKS of most of the songs. It was a bit embarrassing really - I'm always getting Fucking Hippy wrong or the verses to Dinosaur Planet in the wrong order, but GOODNESS ME - forgetting how to PLAY The Lesson Of The Smiths and singing the words to Do The Indie Kid instead? Clearly it is time to upgrade my BRANE to 48K, if it can't cope with learning a new show AND keeping old songs stored!

    Nobody seemed to mind though, and i managed to make it a FEATURE. There was actually a LOT of chatting - a LOT - not least because MANY old pals (including Messrs Finch, Breach and Boschi) were in attendance and I think it worked out OK. I certainly had a WHALE of a time!

    Just before going on someone had approached to ask if I'd be playing I'm Saying Yes, as they'd seen the video and had come on PURPOSE because of it. I had to politely decline - I didn't know it THAT well when I was playing and, correctly as it turned out, thought my BRANE would have WIPED it to make room for Moon Horse. I felt BAD about it thought, so afterwards we gathered a group together and went out to the smoking area for a PRIVATE ENCORE. As it happened i DID stumble over loads of lines, but I think we got to the end in one piece.

    Then it was time for the main attraction himself, and as ever Chris T-T was MARVELLOUS. Moving, ROUSING, thoughtful and just all round GRATE songs with humour and SINCERITY in between, he was just brilliant - even tho he TERRIFIED me halfway through when he asked me to change a STRING which he'd just broken. As current and former band colleagues of mine will ATTEST i am ROTTEN at that sort of thing, but did seem to manage to sort it out, (even though, to my surprise, he turns out to be left handed!) but I DID spend most of the second half of the set ON EDGE in case i caused the whole instrument to go TWANG!

    Afterwards there was a whole lot of chatter and DELIGHT before the bar staff gently pointed out that we really really REALLY had to go home now, so we said our goodbyes and went out seperate ways. I arrived back at the B&B full of the joys of ROCK - gigs! They are GRATE!

    posted 3/6/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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    Mark - nice to see you again and a cracking night out from beginning to end! Anna was interesting, your return to an "Uber Set" excellent as ever and Chris was just superb; I was really pleased that he played most of "9 Red Songs" including a spell-binding M1. Just wish I'd known about the food there ... my kebab found en-route was a tad suspect.
    posted 4/6/2011 by Matt

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