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Blog: Down In The Archives

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This morning I have been DELVING into the Hibbett Archives to try and track down ... er... TRACKS for the WARRIORS OF NANPANTAN compilation. This has LITERALLY meant RIFLING through EIGHT (8) sets of drawers and Looking Under The Bed. So far I have found CD versions of half the things, some tracks on MP3, and - feel the nostalgia - a batch of DATs!

DAT! The first time i ever saw a DAT was in The Victorian Era, when we first went to Stayfree to record some VOON songs - this was just after i had commenced my Glittering Career In Academia and had recieved a TAX rebate because, as is traditional, Personnel had cocked up my tax details. Rather than save the money or pay of any DEBTS i set the standard for the entire rest of my ROCK career by thinking "Naaaah -let's SPEND it on making a RECORD!"

SIDEBAR: funnily enough part of the reasoning behind Warriors Of Nanpantan is that I'm going to be getting some CA$H for a bit of extra work next month, and rather than saving it I thought "Naaaah -let's SPEND it on making a RECORD!" PLUS CA CHANGE and all that, but i digress from my digression...

So yes, off we went to Stayfree and THENCE to Memphis Studio where we met Kev for the first time (who also set a personal standard by being LOVELY and giving me a lift home). He recorded everything onto DATs, it was the format of THE FUTURE we all believed - digital quality recordings on an analogue tape! That's got to be good! Space for about an HOUR of stuff! Used to create Modern "Compact Discs"! Tiny!

Over the next few years, yay even up unto recording "Say It With Words", we used these, so I have a lovely little collection of them which, as stated, I RIFLED through this morning. The only problem with them, really, was that you needed Hugely Expensive Equipment to ever actually LISTEN to them, and so if i wanted to, say, get a single track off for a compilation, I had to go in and see Kev again and get him to put it onto a CD for me. HENCE i have two mysterious DATs labelled "Validators part 1" and "Mixes 9/99" which i THINK are the two compiled batches of recordings for the "Say It With Words" sessions.

When we recorded that album, we did the first ten or so songs with ME playing bass, and then the second ten with Ollie doing it. These 20-ish were then put onto tapes and handed to band members, Durham Ox Singers, and a small select group of other people of good character, who then completed Focus Group forms to tell me which were their favourites. These votes were compiled and then used as the basis of which songs went onto the final album, with the final final list and running order being decided by me, Rob, Ollie, Tim and Tom one night in The Three Nuns in Loughborough - a LOVELY night where we had too much to drink, did the pub quiz, rushed off the running order in the last ten minutes, had to PHYSICALLY RESTRAIN Tim from booking us a gig in the back room there and then ("let's do the album launch right here!"), and then had to ring Emma to come and pick us up, as we'd missed the bus home. ROCK AND ROLL!

Thinking about it, we recorded a LOT of songs in those sessions - all the album (apart from "Born With The Century", which we'd already done), half of "Milk & Baubles", the b-sides to "Hey Hey 16K" and "Payday", "Mr Right" from the AAS Online compilation, and even a couple MORE tracks that never got released... including, I suddenly recall, an unreleased Frankie Machine song called "Friday 13". LOR LAWKS A-LUMME but we were busy!

So anyway, yes, I have these two DATs which i THINK are going to yield quite a few items for the compilation, but we'll not know until Executive Compilation overseer Mr R Fleay goes into The Hive in Derby to listen to them. What WONDERS shall he uncover? We can only dream, and hope.

posted 26/11/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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