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Blog: Tour Life

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Day TWO of The Validators Tour 2017 was meant to commence with the four male Validators meeting in the lobby of the Travelodge at 11am to go in search of breakfast. However, three of the four of us were greeted upon waking by an email from Tim, who had unilaterally decided to go for a walk up a HILL and have breakfast there. THUS we got into the Tigermobile and headed off to find him, thereby getting to enjoy the delights of HILLZ without having to actually WALK up one.

We found him standing outside the cafe on Teggs Nose, and duly regrouped we went inside to DINE. As part of my whole Stomach Flora Realignment Diet I am avoiding bread, so ended up having SALAD as the only vegetarian non-bread item on the menu. It was very nice! The others had MASSIVE toast, although Tom had to send his Beans On Toast back due to Lukewarm Beans. Life On The Road - it is so often fraught with PERIL!

With some time free we agreed to Tim's demands that we walk up to the TOP of the hill, and though in general I feel that hills are Silly Things (why can't people just live somewhere flat?) it was actually quite good fun, although at the very top it was quite WINDY, STEEP and MUDDY and we realised that we only had one pair of trousers each, so had to walk down very carefully. See above re PERIL!

We hopped back into the car and drove off to Congleton, where we were due to play at Going Up The Country. Here we discovered a whole HEAP of lovely people, not least amongst them Emma and the Junior Pattisons. It turned out we knew pretty much everybody there, which was GRATE for wandering around and hugging people, and nearly ALL of the acts from the weekend as a whole had played at Totally Acoustic at some point, which meant that I spent most of the day having to stop myself from getting up and introducing the acts!

I'd thought that the gig itself would be inside in the pub, but instead discovered that we were playing in the MARQUEE out front. This was all very jolly but did mean that there'd be a need for amplification, which we had not prepared for. Me, Emma and Frankie could all be plugged in, but Tom had brought his GOOD violin (which doesn't have a DI) and Tim had his Cajon, so we weren't sure what to do. Luckily for us INDIE LEGEND Mr Pete Dale was doing the sound (which was also a bit weird - it was like going to see Donavan and finding out that Bob Dylan was working the sound desk) and, after a bit of a conflab, we decided to use microphones for me and Emma, plug the BASS in to boost it a bit, and to leave the rest of us as we were. With that decided we took to the stage and did THIS:
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • In The North Stand
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Easily Impressed
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • We Did It Anyway

  • It was, not to put too fine a point on it, BLOODY GRATE. The sound sounded FAB (it's lovely playing in this sort of format, as we can HEAR each other) and everybody was WELL up for it. I got so excited that I ended up using many of the REMARKS that I had been preparing for Indietracks (NB it's been several years since we last played, I have been thinking about it a LOT) so will probably have to think of some NEW ones. Or just hope people will be too drunk to notice - probably that actually.

    It was a LOVELY way to spend an afternoon, and we were HONOURED to be the last band EVER to play Going Up The Country. Delightfully, most people there were of a certain age, also inclination, and so were all still feeling a bit tired from our late night on Thursday, which meant that once we were done everyone drifted away pretty quickly for TEA and possibly BED.

    We said our farewells to the Pattisons and then Frankie, Tom, me and Mr Pete Green hopped into the Tigermobile, they for Derby and me for Congleton again. Foolishly, when booking my travel arrangements, I'd not realised the gig would be finishing this early so had thought I'd have to stay in Macclesfield overnight. Frankie suggested I catch a train from Congleton, but this excellent plan had two small niggles: firstly, Congleton station is about an HOUR'S WALK from Congleton itself (or at least from the bit where I disembarked the Tigermobile) and there wasn't a train for TWO HOURS. I thus had a HIKE and then a lengthy sit in a beer garden where a very loud elderly blues band played for an extremely drunk couple who had clearly just began a sexual relationship and wished to express it in a) dance b) extremely unrhythmical clapping. It was all a bit odd.

    Still, I made it back to Macclesfield in the end, KNACKERED but very very happy. Going On Tour is EXCELLENT fun, especially when you do it with such MARVELLOUS chums, but it doesn't half wear you out!

    posted 15/6/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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