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Blog: Brighton

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It was off to BRIGHTON for me on Saturday, to play a benefit gig for Hen Heaven, a chicken sanctuary, apparently, that looks after birds "rescued" from Battery Farms... i say "rescued" because i assume LIBERATED would be a better word, but I guess they can't really say that.

ANYWAY, Brighton is a CRAZY kind of place. Walking down from the railway station it is just like any other city in our great nation on a Saturday night i.e. full of lairy looking groups of men in white shirts and black trousers looking drunk and/or aggressive, freezing cold looking groups of women in hardly anything looking also drunk and/or aggressive, and vomit. HOWEVER, a 10 minute stroll leads to the SEASIDE, where suddenly it is roughly 1956, and then a few minutes later I found myself in 1992.

For LO! The gig was in a Vegetarian Cafe (although they served FISH, which is a bit of a cop out, but still) in The Brighton, and it was LOVELY as all such places always are - there was the traditional noticeboard festooned with adverts for house shares and cat-sitters, MOUNTAINS of leaflets about workshops and marches, a menu that was horribly out of date but had been specially laminated so couldn't be changed, a more reliable blackboard, and of course QUICHE. Mmm! The QUICHE was lovely! As for the 1992 aspect - in the early 90's i drank in a pub called The Magazine in Leicester which was run as a Workers' Cooperative, and as well as all the above named Feature Items was always full of stereotypical Leftie Types of the time. Nobody had less than three beaded necklaces, clothes were obviously hand-made, sari's and kaftans ABOUNDED, and hair was either SHAVEN (for the ladies) or DREADS (for the gentleman). As my good friend Dr Neil Brown noted at the time, also for such a peace loving group of people there was an astounding amount of military clothing on display, especially below the waist where combat trousers and parachute boots ABOUNDED.

I thought these people had disappeared for good, but NO! They are just living in Brighton these days! Hello nose ring! Hello home made hoummous! It was lovely to see you all again!

Anyway, I got myself a bit worried about how I'd go down when the first act appeared to be a lot more COMMITED than I was, although I was reassured when the compere turned out to be an Alternative Poet (this was the LAW, in 1992), who did a GRATE poem about Margerine and Vegans (honest, it was ACE), but i was still a bit nervous when I took the stage... however, it all went REALLY well! Hooray! I sweated like MAD and did everything at HIGH SPEED (leading to a pretty valid Constructive Criticism afterwards from somebody who couldn't understand what i was saying in the 3rd verse of Things'll Be Different) but I also managed to tell some fairly involved stories, including showing off about having seen Brian May in the street last week. He was very tall. The new songs went down really well, especially "The Fight For History", and although they were hesitant people DID join in with both "Easily Impressed" AND "Boom Shake The Room".

It was all good. Paul The Extremely Nice Promoter gave me some CDs of his bands Anal Beard (with whom i played last time in Brighton) and POG, and offered us a Validators Gig down there some time - Brighton, along with Glasgow, THUS moves itself to the forefront on next year's VALIDATORS ASSAULT, to BREAK new territory! - and then I had to DASH off. Amazingly it took me just TWO hours to get home, i almost gave myself WHIPLASH so i did, such was my SPEED.

Next stop: DERBY tomorrow night for band practice, next gig is SHEFFIELD at the Fuzztival!

posted 4/10/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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