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Blog: Take Me Home Croydon Road

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Last night I was back in Croydon, walking the old familiar route that I used to take on the way to the MANY MANY gigs I have done at The Green Dragon. This time however I stopped just before I got there to go into The Spreadeagle instead, a pub I had LOOKED at all those many times but never gone inside. It was NICE!

I was there to do a gig with Ms J Lockyer and Mr G Osborn, the latter of whom I discovered chatting to Mr S Hewitt as soon as I went in. It was DELIGHTFUL to see them both, and we went upstairs to the THEATRE/Gig Area where we found Jenny and Mr T Eveleigh. There was further CHAT, setting the tone for a really REALLY pleasant evening of YACKING.

Steve and I went in search of some GRUB back downstairs again, where we found Mr W Pilkington. We ordered food and were told we couldn't take it into the actual performance ZONE but COULD utilise the upstairs "balcony" area nearby. We agreed to this arrangement and it was only when we went back up again that we discovered the balcony was a tiny space just next to the entrance to the room, cordoned off with a VELVET ROPE. Our tea arrived as people were going in, so we sat their DINING like DISPLAYED PRINCES, waving to customers as we ate our chips.

It was from this vantage point that I heard Tim go on stage and say "It's five to eight, so we'll be starting in five minutes." This was INCORRECT - it was only ten to - so I put my head around the corner of the stage and told Tim the TRUE time, and pointed out that he'd got his WRONG time from the Pub Clock which, as Pub Clocks traditionally are, was set to be five minutes ahead. "It's a thing", I said. He had never heard it before so asked the audience, ALL of whom knew of this Traditional Arrangement. It felt like we were doing a BIT, but I was just wanting to make sure I had time to eat my tea!

It all worked out perfectly and Steve and I got back in JUST at the right moment to see Gav who was, of course, EXCELLENT. He always seems to be doing NEW STUFF and not relying on his Old Standards which a) means I get to HEAR more of his stuff but b) makes me feel bad because I'm doing basically the same set every time. I mean, I'm writing a new song at the moment, but it's taken me a week so far and I've only just got to the first chorus!

Anyway, he was GRATE and then it was my turn to go on and do THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • That Guy
  • In The North Stand
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • We Did It Anyway
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • See what I mean about it being the usual set? It didn't seem to matter tho - approx 40% of the audience seemed to know the WORDS (better than me in a couple of cases) and SANG ALONG, while the 60% who didn't LARFED at the places where people tend to laugh if they've not heard me before, which was all in all a pretty much PERFECT mix! My favourite bits were a) nearly getting the WHISTLING right for In The North Stand b) dedicating part of My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once to Mr Spoons and c) NOT getting the words wrong when Steve and Gav did the "La La La" bit in It Only Works Because You're here. I enjoyed it IMMENSELY.

    Finally it was time for our headline act, the aforesaid Jenny Lockyer. She was FANTASTIC. I have seen Jenny LOADS of times but this was pretty much the BEST - she COMMANDED the room and the stage by basically being VERY SILLY throughout, messing around in a way that made everyone feel entirely SAFE, also AMUSED. There was, for instance, a section about PLUGS which was mostly very bad PUNS, but it was done in such a DELIGHTFUL way that the whole room was GIGGLING throughout. She was excellent!

    After all that there was time for more CHAT backstage. We all offered PRAISE for Mr Eveleigh's development of his Unique Compering Style - he TALKS at LENGTH but, again, in a way that makes you think "This is all good - I don't know where he's going with this story (NB he may not know either) but I am quite happy to go along with it" - and got a bit excited about Jenny's plans for a piece of THEATRE about Amy Johnson, which sounds FASCINATING, also FAB.

    Soon though it was time for Steve and I to head back to old East Croydon station and home. It had been yet another LOVELY NIGHT to add to the long list of such nights had in Croydon. I'll be back again soon hopefully, perhaps this time playing a gig on a TRAM!

    posted 28/10/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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    It was good fun - and literally the shortest distance to a gig ever for me! :) Gavin and I were discussing In The North Stand, and we both love it and were hoping you'd play it. We both had a big smile on our faces when you did.
    posted 28/10/2016 by Warren

    Aww, thanks for the namecheck. A super night it was. A couple of newbies amongst my crowd, both of whom loved you and indeed, the whole night.
    posted 29/10/2016 by Mr Spoons

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