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I'd never been in the venue before, and was surprised at quite how TINY the Actual Venue bit is, also at how MAD the two tier seating is - the room is really small, but has been divided VERTICALLY in two, apart from the stage, so when you're playing you are looking directly at the FEET of the people on the first floor. WEIRD.
Anyway, I did a quick sound check, popped out to get some GRUB, and then spent a very lovely hour hanging around whilst a surprisingly HEALTHY number of people turned up, not least of whom was Mr Dave Green, with a big bag full of Hey Hey 16K T-shirts. HOLA! Although I was only on second it was all running late, so I dashed on as soon as the first chap had finished, and we were GO!
I must confess, I was a bit SHAKY to start with. The people upstairs seemed a bit ROWDY, and it was fairly obvious that all the people who wanted to see ME were downstairs, and the layout of the room was FREAKING me a bit and so, as usual, I got the words to "Things'll Be Different" a bit wrong in a couple of places. I remembered the wise words of Mr Charlie Flowers on a PREVIOUS occasion when this had happened: "Calm down, it's all right", and took this advice to HEART.
It seemed to work. As we moved on into the set things improved MASSIVELY. Suddenly there was BANTER and a steady stream of OTHER people coming into the room to see what was going on. FANTASTIC! OK, it IS a really small room, but it was PACKED, and everyone seemed to be really getting into it. Looking down I could hear people GETTING it (my lovely brother, who was in attendance, said that the sound was PARTICULARLY CRISP) and laughing, whilst people upstairs provided some HECKLING which I was, by now, feeling ready to GO with. I particularly enjoyed it when somebody shouted "Jet Set Willy!" during Hey Hey 16K and I stopped the song and said "I already said Jet Set Willy - pay attention!" Also taking my jumper off and comparing myself to James Brown was particularly jolly. There was some "business" (NB ROCK TALK) with who to go to for tapes or CDs, and "Breaks In The Journey" seemed to go down well on its debut. It all did really, it was ACE!
When it was over (and I had politely DECLINED an encore, oh yes, cos of the running over time thing) I STRUGGLED (no, really) through people saying they'd enjoyed it, on the way getting REBOOKED by Nick The Promoter (who really seemed to like it) and selling TWO CDs - you'll note from the totaliser that we've thus hit SEVENTY. ZANG! T-Shirt sales were ROARING (about five sold, I reckon, Well Done Dave, and well done also my dear brother who was PROMOTING like billy-o), everyone seemed to be DEAD happy, and beauty shone around.
Not only did we have these sales, but I ALSO had enough people in attendance to get PAID (this may actually be the first time I've EVER managed to get paid under the Ancient and Justified "You Need 10 People In Before You Get Any Money" rule), AND walked away with the remaining t-shirts, for SALES at gigs and, in a week or two, on this website. WHOO!
I'm still dancing around with happiness this morning (to the tune of "Summer Holiday", for some reason), it was a SMASHING gig, and I had an ACE time! ZANG!
posted 27/2/2004 by MJ Hibbett
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