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Blog: Validators Reunited

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I set off for DERBY yesterday, and when I arrived at the station my BRANE thort "Ooh! A train to Derby! that means some Pret Porridge, a pre-booked posh seat and then a gentle stroll to the recording studio." "NO BRANE!" i said, "You are WRONG! Cast your mind back many moons to the distant days of two or more years ago. We're not going to do some mixing, we're off to a PRACTICE!" "AHA!" the BRANE replied. "So an open ticket then CHIPS and hopefully a pint in the Brunswick at the other end? FAIR ENOUGH!"

And so, always wanting to do right by my BRANE, that is exactly what DID happen when I arrived in Derby, then hopping into a taxi for Darley Abbey Lane rehearsal studio, where we were booked to have our first Validators' rehearsal for YEARS. When I eventually found the studio (it's been a long time and it was very very dark) I was relieved to find that it was EXACTLY THE SAME - not only as itself, but the same as studios FOREVER. Aah, is there anything as evocative of ROCK as the heady REEK of a rehearsal room? Or the ever-denied hope that all the amps will work properly?

It was good to be back, and it's actually a pretty good studio - everyone was dead nice and they'd even supplied a TERRIBLE BAND to play next door INCREDIBLY LOUDLY, just to make us feel at home. Joining in with this, the rest of The Validators applied The Law Of Inverse Distance to their arrival times (and I, happily, did my usual Being Slightly Grumpy about it, to return the favour) and soon we were all HOME, as if we had never been away. DELIGHTFUL!

As usual we'd pre-agreed a list of songs to try out, divided into three categories - songs from Dinosaur Planet, some old tracks we haven't played regularly for AGES and finally the Traditional Songs We Always Play. Thus, once the T-SHIRTS had been handed out and ADMIRED, we kicked off with One We Theoretically Know, and ROLLICKED through a version of My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once that was a little dusty, but still WORKING.

Then it was into Dinosaur Planet songs and a couple of RELICS from bygone days and over the next two and a half hours the OLD MAGIC was very much BACK IN ACTION, especially during the last hour when we re-did all the "new" songs we'd learnt that evening THEN did the Old Standbys, just to check they still worked. They TOTALLY DID - i especially enjoyed Do The Indie Kid during which i not only correctly guessed EXACTLY what Frankie would playing during The Music Of The Future, but also bore witness to his CHEEKY CHUCKLE beforehand when HE realised what he'd be playing too. If you saw MANI looking oddly confused, as if his MANTLE so recently regained was briefly SNATCHED from him, then you can blame Frankie.

It was bloody fantastic, and the stuff from the new album sounded ACE too. Wwe'd never ever played 'Theme From Dinosaur Planet' all the way through - the REGGAE BIT on the recorded version was done seperately - so we approached it with some trepidation, doing it NERVOUSLY the first time around but on the second attempt we all TELEPATHICALLY decided to BLOODY DO IT and STRODE into that section with some considerable WELLY. I reckon it's going to be AMAAAZING when we do it live!

And so it was a very happy band of Validators who retired to The Nice Pub Round The Corner, and it was here that the BEST part of the evening occurred. With The Vlads I always think of the gigs as just an excuse for us to get together and have a LARF, which was very much the case this time. The high point of the evening came when we spoke of The Traffic Light Story. When Tim used to come back from touring with Prolapse I would always ask him to tell me the Hilarious Tales Of The Road, and he would always have to admit that he had NONE. I would complain bitterly about this - not touring yet MYSELF at the time I felt that it was a wasted opportunity - until one time he rolled into the pub post-tour and said "AHA! This time i HAVE got a story for you!"

This was The Traffic Light story, which was SO RUBBISH that it has since become a BYWORD for... well, rubbish stories, amongst our CLOSE CIRCLE. I have always told it as, basically, the Prolapse Van not moving at traffic lights because they hadn't noticed they had changed. Frankie remembered it differently as well, and after some confusion Tim waded in, saying "It's SO MUCH better than that!"

It totally TOTALLY wasn't. I won't go into the details here, but suffice to say I have been WILDLY EXAGERRATING the HILARITY for over a DECADE. Tim's attempt to tell the TRUE story was THE FUNNIEST THING i have heard for a VERY LONG TIME INDEED. You know that thing that happens when you're little, and you laugh so hard and so long that your sides actually HURT? THAT is what happened to us all in the pub last night. I'm still laughing about it now!

It was, in summary, a BRILLIANT evening where our work was well done and preparations well made for our GLORIOUS RETURN to the Arena Of ROCK in Nottingham on November 5th. We're playing at The Chameleon that night - do come along if you can, it's bound to be BRILL and, if you're very lucky, someone might tell you The Traffic Light Story!

posted 21/10/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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