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Blog: The Unpredictable Same

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Yesterday I got a copy of the fanzine "The Unpredictable Same" through the post, and it is ACE. In particular it has a GRATE long interview with Nigel Blackwell from Half Man Half Biscuit, during which he talks about how much he likes Kenickie's first album. It's always nice to know that someone YOU think is GRATE thinks the same THINGS are GRATE as you do, if you see what I mean. The conversation about it actually sounds pretty much the same as the one me and my brother have on a twice yearly basis about that album, in the pub... anyway, it's a Good Interview, but to be honest my favourite bit of the fanzine is a LIVE review of my gig at The Windmill just before Christmas.

I like it for THREE reasons. Firstly, because the way it reports me turning up and saying hello to John, who writes most of the pieces, makes me sound like a great big lumbering figure of KRAZY GOOD TIMES, which obviously I approve of, even though it's a bit odd finding a character with your name appearing in a piece of text, it feels STRANGE. Secondly, it reports one of my many THEORIES, this one being about there being a graph or GAUGE by which one might measure bands - in this case, a line with Coldplay at one end and Bearsuit at the other, describing the extremes of INDIE, upon which any band may be plotted. The other week in Nottingham I was EXPOUNDING something similar re. The Smiths and The Fall, so maybe a GRAPH is required? Anyway, I had forgot all about the Coldplay/Bearsuit AXIS, and was grateful to be reminded of it. John says the idea is "no doubt currently being rendered in song form", which it wasn't, but now might be. In future I think I shall EMPLOY someone to note down my REMARKABLE REMARKS in the pub, and filter out any NUGGETS OF GOLD that swim by. I'm sure there are thousands of them.

Finally, and most importantly, I like it because of this paragraph:
"Both [me and Chris T-T] put in sets of crowd-pleasing favourites - in Mark's case, Bands from London, Payday Is The Best Day, If You're Too Turned On, Easily Impressed et al seemed to go down well. As with Elvis Costello's tour of 2002, I would have preferred an anorak-pleasing dip into more obscure reaches of the back catalogue."

MORE Obscure?!? Than a set of MY songs?!?? FANTASTIC! God bless him, I think this is the most utterly brilliant thing anybody has EVER said about my gigs. I mean, yes, I too also worry that maybe I rely on the UBER-SET too much and don't do the odder songs from the past, but that is because they are MY songs and I love them all as if they were my BABIES. I certainly don't expect anybody else to even LIKE some of them - many of them, indeed, are actively LOATHED by the very Validators who recorded them... well, "Ring Your Mother" certainly is anyway - so to have someone complain that I am only playing the Crowd Pleasing HITS - this fills me with JOY UNSURPASSED.

Maybe I shall suggest to The Validators that we have an ACOUSTIC SPOT in the middle of our gigs where I shall play a selection of numbers on my own, possibly on a seperate, spotlit stage?

Anyway, the fanzine is GRATE throughout with many diverse and interesting opinions (especially about Belle & Sebastian, which I didn't agree with but liked reading), and you can BUY a copy yourself if you like for One POUND, in coin form, furtively posted to The Unpredictable Same, 17 Valley Drive, Handforth, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 3DN. Go on, DO IT!

posted 25/3/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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