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Blog: A Fantastic Weekend

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You discover me a bit WORN OUT after an EXCITING and EXERTING weekend in which - my word! - everything EITHER went completely to plan or EVEN BETTER!

Saturday lunchtime saw myself and The Bomp In My Bomp A Bomp A Bomp setting off EARLY to get the TUBE to Paddington, where we got an EARLIER THAN PLANNED train out to Oxford, where we were attending the RECEPTION for the wedding of Emma & Nic. It was a good thing we got the early train, as there was a DELAY, but we still got to Oxford ahead of time. I packed the aforesaid Ram In My Ram A Lam A Ding Dong into a TAXI for our hotel, while i got another train to nearby RADLEY, where I met TIGER Tom McClure, as planned, and together we drove to The Crazy Bear Hotel, where things would be occurring.

Continuing the Even Better Than Planned THEME, the rest of The Validators had got there EARLY, and we arrived to find everything set up, ready for our gig later that evening. The Crazy Bear is a LOVELY place, it's a bit like a PUB where somebody's INJECTED Pure undiluted Ground Force DVDs into their EYEBALLS, as everywhere is decked, pebbled, decorated, outside "roomed" or has a patio on it, and it was pretty GROOVY. It was also a lovely day and even SMELT nice, and we WHIPPED through our soundcheck at almost unseemly speed. Things sounded GOOD - we were using a vocal PA with AXES going through AMPS and Drums NAKED, and as ever this sounded GRATE. It never fails to amaze me how EASY it is to get a really nice sound from this sort of line-up, and yet how OFTEN sound-people at venues manage to mess it up by over-miking and turning things up FAR TOO LOUD.

ANYWAY, we headed back to our Hotel (we were all staying in the Holiday Inn Express nearby) to CHANGE into our Wedding Outfits, and by 7pm were BACK BACK BACK at the Crazy Bear. It was all going REALLY WELL! We got our setlist together, and just after 8pm we hit the stage, to play THIS set:

Better Things To Do
Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
Hey Hey 16K
Song For Cookie Boy
Tell Me Something You Do Like
Payday Is The Best Day
Never Going Back To Aldi's
Billy Jones Is Dead
The Gay Train
Things'll Be Different
The Symbol Of Our Nation
Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Boom Shake The Room
Easily Impressed

Song For Cookie Boy

The Lesson Of The Smiths

"Song For Cookie Boy" is in there for a Very Good Reason, which can at LAST be revealed - when Tim and Emma got married Emma, myself, and The Bridesmaids played the song "Dinky Doo" at the reception, and made everyone cry. OUR Emma thus suggested to Emma THE BRIDE that she could do something similar. A couple of weeks later she sent us an MP3 of her singing "Sugar Spun Sister", with words amended so it became "Song For Cookie Boy". We practiced it HARD at our last rehearsal, but obviously i couldn't mention it at the time in case Nic read this webpage and the surprise was SPOILED. I tell you what, it has been HARD this past couple of weeks, resisting the urge to call him "Cookie Boy", but it all came worth it in the end... People started to gather round during "Hey Hey 16K", ready for me to introduce Emma The Bride to the stage. We'd worried about her being nervous, and Our Emma was designated her MINDER, to hold her hand and see her through the song... HOWEVER this became obviously unnecessary from the very beginning, when she got to the stage area and said "All right then? STRAIGHT IN? COME IN! LET'S HAVE IT!"

It sounded GRATE, and we were a bit AFEARED as to how we might carry on afterwards, but carry on we did and my dears it was FANTASTIC. EVERYONE by now had gathered round, people were joining in, there were GURLS down the front, DANCING, we could see PALS all around singing along, and I rather think we sounded pretty good too. We LOOKED rather GRATE too i must say, as we were all be-suited, except for Emma who had a WELL POSH FROCK on. We were an HANDSOME band and no mistake, although it was a bit alarming to look back and see the rest of The Validators looking like EAST END HEAVIES.

It all sounded FAB, and we got Emma The Bride back for the first encore. For the second (OH YES!) we were a bit perplexed as to what to play, because we'd DONE all the songs we knew that DIDN'T have swearing in (NB Children Were Present), but we asked the audience if they MINDED some LANGUAGE, and then did the LANGUAGE-HEAVY "Lesson Of The Smiths". It sounded GOOD, we were happy, and everyone else seemed to be too.

We packed up and settled into some DRINKING. Tim decided we'd have some CIGARS, but the only ones they had were POSH ones which, frankly, would be wasted on us, so he went off to the Village Shop and got some COOKING Cigars (NB like COOKING Lager). We had as much free BEER as we could get, and then moved on to PIMMS, and were soon all hitting the dance floor, BUSTING SOME MOVES. My favourite bits of this were, obviously, dancing with The Bop In My Bop She Bop She Bop (by HECK that woman can throw some SHAPES!) and ALL of us dancing together to, i think, "Baggy Trousers". The ONLY downside that we were just getting into the UBER INDIE section of the dancing evening when our taxi arrived, and we headed back to the Holiday Inn.

The bar was open so we quickly dumped our stuff and settled into an hour or so of DELIGHTFUL VALIDATORY REPARTEE, only ended by us all feeling a bit TIDDLY and TIRED. Next morning found a repeat of the above, only with rather large HANGOVERS, over breakfast. It was LOVELY us all being able to hang around at our leisure like that, and it made me EVEN MORE excited at the prospect of our week in Cornwall next month.

We said our farewells, and then The Dip In My Dip Da Dip Da Dip headed into Oxford Town, where we NIPPED round the city on the Open Top Bus tour. As she correctly said, we both LOVE Open Top Bus tours, it was a lovely day, and we might as well, so we DID. Oxford is VERY posh, it seems, and EVERYTHING is to do with The University and happened nearly a thousand years ago. It was a GORGEOUS day, and though i must say i drifted off fairly often in that Still-A-Bit-Drunk way one DOES the morning after a GRATE gig, it was all lovely. We then got straight on a TRAIN to Reading, then got STRAIGHT onto one for London that pulled in along side ours, and found ourselves back home unexpectedly easily. EVERYTHING went better than expected!

We thought the excitement was all over, so then i had a BATH and a NAP. I am not afraid to admit it, i was KNACKERED! However, i was AWOKEN at 5pm by a man over the road shouting for his kids to come out and LOOK - i got up and looked out of the window and saw five BI-PLANES disappearing into the distance, it was the V45 FLYOVER!

I DASHED into the back garden and CORRALLED the household, and we had a FANTASTIC view of all the planes flying over, including, BEST OF ALL, the Hurricane, Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber at the end. It was AMAZING!

In summary then, this was an UTTERLY BRILLIANT weekend. HOORAH!

posted 11/7/2005 by MJ Hibbett

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