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Blog: Tramlines

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I dug out my "big" guitar for the first time in AGES on Sunday for LO! The Validators were playing in Sheffield at The Tramlines Festival and Certain Band Members (Tim) are on record as Not Really Liking my "small" guitar. Thus I SUFFERED for my art, lugging it North!

On the way I had a moment of PANIC at St Pancras - I bumped into Thom from The Understudies, and thought "YIKES! What if he discovers me in [my pre-booked seat in] First Class? Will this threaten my hard-won reputation as Working Class Hero/Man Of The People?" Luckily when I got on the train I found Thom in the same carriage - PHEW! Our secret was safe!

On arrival in Sheffield I checked into My Usual Suite at the Ibis then went back to the station to meet Mr F Machine at The Sheffield Tap. He had brought his own personal roadie Mr J Machine, who we both DELIGHTED (he definitely LOOKED delighted I'm sure) by telling stories of him as a TINY BABY. Teenagers love that sort of thing, right?

We got a taxi to the venue, which took us to The Red Deer, not The Red House, but this being Sheffield the taxi driver apologised and lopped a few quid off the final fee, it was all Very Reasonable. Within the venue we found The Pattisons EN MASSE and settled into what turned into the usual LOVELY Validators get together. The Tiger arrived a little while later and there was a LOT of chat and beer and LARKS, and also a BAND MEETING. People who will remain nameless admitted that he had MISSED The Validators (hem hem) and suggested that we try and do a couple more gigs than in previous years, INCREASE the number of songs written using the new Validators Write Music/I Add Words methodology, and move gradually to some new recordings. This motion was passed unanimously - it was a GOOD meeting!

There was also a whole HEAP of lovely PALS who I'd not seen for a while and, as ever, I was moved to comment that it almost seemed a shame to interrupt the jollity with a GIG, but interrupt it we did, thusly:
  • Theme From Dinosaur Planet
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • I Want To Find Out How It Ends
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
  • Do The Indie Kid
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed

  • It all seemed to go pretty well - there was a nice large crowd and a LOT of singing along, and we did TWO songs we'd never played together before! The first ever full band rendition of The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B) flew by at high speed and the World Premiere of I Want To Find Out How It Ends worked rather nicely... until we got to the end when, in an incredible departure from tradition, everyone APART from me got the final chorus wrong! I managed to even things out by cocking up Hey Hey 16K, and LO! the Universal Balance was restored. The rest of the set passed without incident, except of course for the incident of TOTAL ROCK!

    Tom's sister arrived halfway through, completing the feeling of it all being like a Wedding Reception, which had been especially enforced by doing the whole gig with THREE Validators' Children standing at the front throughout with that LOOK that says "I may LOOK like I think you are all SO EMBARRASSING but, really, deep down, I think you're dead cool, no really."

    After all that there was HUGS, some GRATE sets from Lardpony and August Actually, and, all too soon, time to say our farewells. I got a lift back to the Ibis in The TigerMobile and, in a marvellous piece of Grand Tradition, we got hopelessly lost, like ALWAYS. I look forward to it happening again SEVERAL times over the coming years, as The Validators take to the road once more!

    posted 23/7/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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