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Blog: Taking ROCK To Manchester

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I haven't played many times in Manchester, and so I wasn't sure what to expect when I headed off for this gig on Thursday, but my hopes of a GRATE night were raised when I arrived in town and received a text from my colleague Mr M Tiller informing me that we had ALREADY sold EIGHTEEN tickets! I know this is not quite Coldplay levels, but I am always amazed when ANYBODY books a ticket in advance (what if you can't go? why risk a fiver?!?) so was DELIGHTED!

I was even more happy to arrive at the venue, Gulliver's, and find that it was DEAD NICE. Matt had got the PA system set up, and then we enjoyed the traditional 10 minutes of trying to get the lights to work before having to call the landlord in to stop the whole thing flashing on and off like a DISCO RAVE PARTY.

I keep saying that the nicest thing about going back on the road is that you meet old chums, and this was entirely true again, notably with Ms E Pemberton and Ms C Birkby rolling up. There was time for some chat and a pint but then I had to go and sit on the DOOR - I really like doing the door at gigs, especially when we're also doing the lights and the sound and everything, it makes it feel as if the room is OURS for the duration! Matt went out and SCOOPED up everybody, and then it was time for me to go on and do THIS:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Say It With Words
  • Cheer Up Love
  • Another Man's Laundry (hanging on your line)
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • You're A Tory Now
  • Two Blokes, One Pub
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • I Did A Gig In New York

  • I had a BLOODY LOVELY time. Usually when I do a gig I get to the song before last and think "Yes, it is time for me to finish now, my angelic voice is gently hinting at amphibian qualities and I have perhaps ROCKED everybody almost TOO much" but on this occasion I could have gone on for AGES more. As you can see above, it was a funny old set full of songs I hardly ever play live, with very few actual HITS in it - I have a BIG list of songs that I want to try out on this here tour, and now that we're over the halfway point I thought I'd better get on with DOING some of them!

    After a short break Matt went on and did, I think, the best gig he's done of the tour so far. They have all been GRATE, but this time it was like he was SURFING on WAVES of LARFS all the way through, with all sorts of silliness and big belly laughs at all points. It was an absolute DELIGHT to watch, and especially to feel the whole room DIGGING what he was doing, and especially especially when he did songs about his WIFE with his Father-in-law in the front row. It was ACE!

    I had originally had Hey Hey 16K on my setlist, but when I got to it I thought "This doesn't look like an audience that would be too bothered about ZX Spectrums" so didn't bother. However, when the show was over it turned out that someone had come SPECIFICALLY to hear that song, so a small group of us went into the back room to do it. I bet you do not get THESE levels of service with Mr B Springstreen, although if you did he would probably be better at remembering all the words.

    So ended yet another GRATE night of what is turning out to be a GRATE tour. We're in Bristol next, on Friday night, if you are in the area I would advise coming along, it will be FUN!

    posted 11/3/2019 by MJ Hibbett

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