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Blog: Five Dimensional Rock-A-Hula

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I had a pretty EXHAUSTING weekend, as i was working HARD. Part of this was stuff for the multimedia bits on the single and the album, and also on the NEW LOOK for the webpage that I'm hoping to LAUNCH when they come out. I spent much of my time working on an Exciting New Format for the gigs, articles, and especially the discography section. I got EVERYTHING I've ever done listed all in one go and am building a page for each of them with tracklisting and a little bit of detail about how they came to be made. This was actually Quite Interesting (NB tho probably just for me) as i had to dig out a couple of old tapes to fill in all the information, and discovered that the Taste Of Tea cassette compilation released in 1993 features me, Tim AND Rob in different bands (Voon, Prolapse and The Alamanacs respectively). It was a bit spooky.

I've also done seperate pages for all of the bands I've been in, so in future when I mentioned The Council, for instance, I can link directly to their page rather than having to explain what it's all about all over again. Yes, I know it's probably HOURS of work for something that nobody will ever look at, but it brought me JOY to see things getting so TIDY after years of Website Messiness.

I also spent a LARGE chunk of the weekend doing some of the Work On The Side I've been doing to get funds together to pay to put the album out - this is, of course, a long held tradition in ROCK. The Edge, for instance, took in laundry to help pay for U2's last tour. However, it was all a bit KNACKERING, so I was very grateful INDEED for the opportunity to go and sample some LIVE ROCK, in the shape of Plans & Apologies at The Buffalo Bar.

They were BLOODY GRATE, and I spent the whole set with a MASSIVE CHEESY GRIN plastered all over my face. Since last I saw them they've got SORTED with being on stage, and where once there were long gaps between songs and nervous glances around the room it now PILES ON from TUNE to TUNE, interspersed with BANTER and JAPES and the sort of confidence you only get when you are REALLY GOOD. I only recognised a couple of songs in the set, but this was fine with me as the newer ones were STARTLING in their excellence, and the way they played them was just BEAUTIFUL - as I believe I've said before, they're one of the most MUSICAL bands I've ever seen. There's about 30 of them on stage, and each one has his own BATCH of melodies to play, all of which work TOGETHER to form something GORGEOUS, yet also ROCKING. One doesn't, of course, want to sound like some kind of hippy, but sometimes when they play you can feel your MIND OPENING - yeah, like a tulip, greeting the sun, man. Whoo!

Not everyone seemed to agree with me though, and to start with i was AGHAST. Coming back from the loo i stood next to three KIDS who were sneering, saying "Oh look, they're going CRAZY" as the band got, justifiably, EXCITED and started leaping up and down. I soon realised that these were pals of the first band who were... well, probably Not For Me anyway. They had vocals but, on most songs, no words, just sort of screaming. They had "situationist" "placards", one of them was wearing a waistcoat and cap, and the songs were LOUD without being particularly memorable. They were, in fact, Very London. In their defence, should it be needed, the people they'd brought with them were into it, and i doubt VERY MUCH whether i was their target audience anyway.

What surprised me though was how COMPETITIVE their "fans" were - it's been ages since I've played at a gig like this, where one or more of the bands are still in their early stages of gigging and are still bringing a loyal MATE following, and so I haven't seen this behaviour for quite a while. It's rather sweet really - some of them were stood making derogatory remarks and some of them were heckling and ALL of them were obviously a bit upset to have to watch a band who were clearly WINNING OVER a lot more people than their pals. Why they thought that sneering, making daft remarks, and occasionally shouting for their mates' band would change the course of the evening is beyond me, as WISER HEADS would tell them it has quite the opposite effect. I suppose it is nice to see people caring, and it's always funny to watch it happening, and notice that, ALWAYS, one of the group will be trying to stop himself enjoying the band he's supposed to be so RESOLUTELY AGAINST.

So yes, I had a GRATE time and Plans & Apologies were MASSIVELY WONDERFUL. I was worn and tired by the time they'd finished so DASHED OUT and got the train home, carried Eastwards on psychadelic rails of WARMTH.

posted 20/3/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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