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Blog: The Event

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With Moon Horse only just STABLED it seemed odd to be contemplating taking Mr Squish out on the road again, but that is exactly what happened on Sunday as part of what THE KIDS (i.e. me, and possibly Steve) will be calling RENNAISSANCE WEEK.

Rennaissance Week is the week of GIGS VARIOUS, for LO! on Tuesday I'm doing STAND-UP at Bright Club (tickets still available), on Thursday I'm doing an Actual Normal Gig at London Popfest (tickets still available), on Sunday me and Steve are doing the Popfest Popquiz (tickets not required) and it was all kicked off yesterday by the pair of us performing an abbreviated version of Dinosaur Planet as part of The Event.

If I get to next Monday and can still remember the words to Hey Hey 16K I'll think I've done very well indeed!

Ever the PROFESSIONALS Steve and I met round at his house on Saturday afternoon for an ACTUAL PRACTICE. We had SLIDES for this version of the show - partly because cutting the story down to 20 minutes meant there were some chunks of the narrative we didn't have time to explain any other way, partly because we thought it might be funny - so would have needed to practice those ANYWAY, even if we HAD done the show itself at any point over the past twelve months! The first run through was a bit shakey, but the second was MUCH better, and we felt ready to ROCK. Between the two we found time to rifle through the DRESSING UP BOX... er... I mean, utilise some of the serious theatrical props we have accrued, to film some bits for the "A Little Bit" video. Geoffrey Livingstone and Tiddy MAY be making a special guest appearance!

Come Sunday afternoon we arrived at The Albany for The Event itself, organised by Ms L Johnston. She'd put out GOODIE BAGS for everyone and we added download codes for Dinosaur Planet to each one, as well as free CD copies of Forest Moon Of Enderby. Leila said "That's so generous!" but HONESTY compelled me to point out that i have about 700 spare copies of them at home and had JUMPED FOR JOY when I realised I could get rid of a few!

The day itself began with Leila doing an OVERVIEW, then a talk about an old Nuclear Bunker that had been turned into a tourist attraction. It was FASCINATING, and also depressing and oddly NOSTALGIC at the same time. Several speakers spoke about the fact that the eighties WASN'T a decade of glamour and glitz, but rather a time when everybody was convinced there would be a nuclear war, and how STRANGE it is that people don't seem to want to mention it. I nodded vigorously as my stomach clenched with the old familiar DREAD... but also lightened with a weird NOSTALGIA for those days. Later on someone would show clips from old Protect And Survive videos, and when the bit came up about leaning DOORS against the wall to form a shelter I felt like I was watching a charming old clip about MAGPIE, whilst simultaneously fearing for my LIFE.

That was still to come, as after the first talk we were suddenly announced as on NEXT, so we LEAPT up and flew into action, me getting the guitar, Steve getting the SLIDES ready and TALKING. We then got going and i THINK it went pretty well. As ever springing this sort of thing on an unsuspecting crowd some people CLEARLY didn't think much to it (or were concentrating VERY hard), some people were clearly going "Oh my word! THIS IS AMAZING!" but most people were laughing along and seemed to be enjoying it, even when we went a bit wrong and/or forgot what was supposed to come next. I had a MASSIVE blank at one point - I could just about remember what happened next on the album, and was pretty sure I knew what to do for the stage show, but what on earth were we doing TODAY? It was all a bit confusing but we backed each other up and got through - INDEED, it demonstrated to me just how far we had come, the pair of us, doing this DOUBLE ACT thing, in that we could tell when the other was getting WONKY and just LEAP in.

Two things that TOTALLY worked though were 1) The Slides, if we ever do something like this again we'll DEFINITELY be using them and 2) The Ending, especially Mr Squish. It was good to share a stage with him again!

The rest of the day was FASCINATING. The highlights were the previously mentioned talk about Protect And Survive MONTHLY - the ACTUAL REAL MAGAZINE that was a family guide to the nuclear holocaust - a lecture on what to think about in order to SURVIVE (you need to make sure you're not too hot, too cold, too thirsty, too hungry, too ill or INJURED) and a description of a group called INFORM who keep tabs on cult/religious groups predicting the end of the world.

I came away from it all feeling slightly depressed (the end of society as we know it does get a bit much after a while!) but also INVIGORATED and EXCITED. It really was incredibly interesting, and all the way through I could hear the voice of my internal Crops In My Sustainable Field (you know what I mean - surely everyone in a Long Term Relationship carries a mini version of their LIFE PARTNER around in their HEAD with them, saying the things they WOULD say if they were there? Right?) talking to me, saying "Ooh, isn't it lovely to see people out and about thinking about things and setting up groups just with the intention of discovering Interesting Things?" I totally agreed with her, it was GRATE!

So GRATE indeed that when I got home I spent nearly an HOUR with the ACTUAL Tins Of Beans In My Emergency Food Stock and The Landlady telling them a [slightly garbled] version of EVERYTHING I'd just been told. "Too hot, too cold, too thirsty, too hungry, too ill or injured!" I repeated excitedly. It was the best end of the world EVER!

posted 20/2/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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Remain indoors, don't try and remember The Event.. Oh wait, that's Mitchell & Webb...
posted 20/2/2012 by Merman

Thanks so much for taking part, both of you it was perfect and I heard nothing but good feedback about it. Really great way to kick off a thought-provoking day.
posted 20/2/2012 by Leila Johnston

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