MJ HIBBETT & THE VALIDATORS
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MJ Hibbett & The Validators: Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez

Albums: Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez

Our fourth album - a BBC 6Music Album Of The Day, Mercury Music Prize listed, and featuring the singles Do The Indie Kid (7" vinyl), It Only Works Because You're Here and My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once. Also available in a COMBO DEAL from the Special Offers section.

This item is available to buy direct from us for £8.00, with postage and packing free anywhere in the world, or to download from our bandcamp page.

It's also available from Amazon and on download sites like iTunes.

£8.00
Released 11 May 2009 this is MJ Hibbett & The Validators most boistrous, confident, fact packed album covering all aspects of life in your thirties like daft dancing, office politics, dieting, hen nights and getting home before closing time. It's full of music, opinion, tunes and good times, with a free magazine, lyrics booklet and album of demo versions included on the multimedia section of the CD. Sounds to good to be true? Allow us to persuade you with an advertisement!



Tracks:
Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
Do The Indie Kid
Do More, Eat Less
Best Behaviour
All The Good Men
We Can Start Having Fun
Red Black Gold
My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
It Only Works Because You're here
One Of The Walls Of My House Fell In
IT Guy Addendum (not listed on CD)
We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home)
Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something
Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez
The Drummer's Lament (bandcamp version only)

Reviews:
Sean McGhee, Rock'N'Reel:
It's impossible not to raise a smile at the delightful absurdities and lyrical observations of indie-pop "poet laureate" Mark Hibbett, especially when they're liberally sprinkled throughout "Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez", the fourth album from Hibbett and his perfect musical foil, The Validators

Writing from the point of view of a thirty-something coming to terms with adulthood and the modern world, there are numerous eternal truths in songs such as "Do The Indie Kid", "Do More, Eat Less", "All The Good Men", "My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once" and "It Only Works Because You're Here".

The wistful nostalgia of "Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something", about the closure of the city's venues, has a serious point to make, and like those other kings of the quirky lyric, Half Man Half Biscuit, repeated listening reveals previously overlooked gems.

Like HMHB too, The Validators do indie pop-rock well - catchy riffs proliferate, although unlike their Wirral contemporaries they also add elements of a capella, delightful harmonies, folky sounding fiddle and brass that sometimes brings to mind both latter and early-period Chumbawamba.

Almost certainly too clever by half for popular acclaim, subscribe now to your new favourite underground sensation.


Ned Raggett, All Music:
Over the course of his and his band's many releases, MJ Hibbett has shown his work to occupy something between a memoir and a column — or a blog — of general observations, a product of his own upbringing, musical and otherwise, in a different time. It's these kinds of tensions and observations that make Hibbett's work more than just "indie pop" as such — if anything, it puts him in line with some of the best hip-hop MCs out there — and Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez continues the string of his winners. Reprising the merry kick of the "Do the Indie Kid" single with a slightly different "music of the future" section, the album otherwise finds Hibbett and the Validators touching on everything from computer desk guys finding love to the travails of having to play shows too late at night, all while finding new ways to gently twist their catchy understated rock chug. "Do More, Eat Less" relies on strings and a merry rhythm shuffle on the verses and squelchy horns on the break even as Hibbett dispenses dietary advice from a knowing position, while "We Can Start Having Fun" might be one of the few rock epics about just going for it worth its salt (and the band lives up to it with massed vocals, a triumphant arrangement, and a slow-burn coda). Perhaps one of the most poignant moments comes with "Red Black Gold," with Hibbett reflecting on the luck of a generation of latter-day Smiths fans not knowing just what "the Bomb" that Morrissey sang of in "Ask" was. It's a perfect summary of noting how time and place shape a person and perceptions — and in keeping with his work, it's a catchy-as-hell song.


BBC 6Music:
Album Of The Day, 14 May 2009


Russ, Russell's Reviews:
MJ Hibbett & The Validators are another band who are very much about their lyrics and this is very much in evidence on this, their third album. Lead track Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid is a knockabout indie pop tune, with weird interference. It’s difficult not to think of Half Man Half Biscuit, especially when they break into a chorus of “hey there emo boy, give us all a smile”. Do The Indie Kid is the Time Warp for non-indie kids, affectionately sending up their dancing. Do More, Eat Less is a disturbed Muppet Show theme tune, with an upbeat chorus. Vocals are buried deep in the verses, meaning the chorus attracts more attention. It’s weird and wonderful. Its when you get to Best Behaviour you realise how much Mark can sound like Eddie Argos at times, those great affected, sometimes surprised vocals which are also over accentuated and with lots of gaps for effect. It’s a good thing, and he retains enough of his own character to make it endearing. We Can Start Having Fun starts out all mournful and although the lyrics are optimistic it sounds sorry for itself. There’s then a celebratory awakening, brass and shimmering guitars and swaying teary eyed vocals. Red Black Gold rocks out, and goes over the top with bells on when we get to the chorus. It then turns into a waltz about Morrissey lyrics and rocks out at the end only to be covered by radio interference. My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once reminds me so much of I, Ludicrous. It tells the perils of someone reliving his past glories through a following in the far east, to a rattling melody. Has the tale of an impossible office romance every sounded as sad and sweet as It Only Works Because You're Here? Probably not, its maudlin country in its heart, but indie pop in its clothes. And it has a cool wonky chorus too. We’re Old And We’re Tired (And We Want To Go Home) is my favourite on the album, a roustabout tune that would make a great pub singalong for those sensitive and long in the tooth. And it’s all about having an early night. Leicester’s Trying To Tell Me Something has that slow early Mary Chain drumbeat, the sad lyrics of a musical past disappearing to the cost of development, a vented wall of fuzzed guitars now and again and the tear jerking vocal. Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez is a very fine album indeed.


Trevor McCabe, Odd Box Blog:
MJ Hibbett is something of an institution around these parts. I’ve seen many a show of his – whether solo or in full band guise with his Validators over the past few years. Indeed he’s been charming audience up and down the country for the past 10 years with his humour laced indie pop songs. ‘Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez’ is the bands fourth album.

I’m only familiar with one of the previous LPs, but I find this new record is a cut above the previous LP I have. The humour has been toned down a little but the songs like ‘My Boss Was In Indie Band Once’ still have the ability to raise a wry smile from me. A fair few songs I have grown to love from seeing MJ Hibbett perform live are to be found here – and I think my favourite song that has made the translation from live favourite to killer album cut is ‘It Only Works Because You’re Here’. A beautiful, yet geeky, IT Support guy love story.

‘Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez’ is not really an indiepop record for those that are concerned with genres and the like. It’s simply a great little pop record and well worth of a few of your shekles.


Tommy Gunnarsson , Penny Black:
The first time I heard of MJ Hibbett was at the beginning of this century, when he released the songs, 'Clubbing in the Week' and 'Payday is the Best Day' (with the memorable line “payday is the best day of all / it’s like a three-day festival”). I instantly liked his fantastic lyrics about everyday life.

Shortly after that, I bought the album, 'Say It with Words', and the following single, 'A Church Hall of Sound', where you could find the great infidelity song, 'Another Man’s Laundry (Hanging on Your Line)', including another one of Hibbett’s wonderful lines, “Your freezer’s full of meat / which is something you don’t eat.”

With his band The Validators, MJ has continued to release quite a lot of records since then (on their own, brilliantly named, label Artists Against Success), but for some reason, I hadn’t checked them out, until I got this new CD in my mailbox.

'Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez' is their eighth album in ten years, and I’m glad to hear them again. MJ’s lyrics are as good as ever, with some highlights in the songs including 'It Only Works Because You’re Here' (which is about a faulty computer that starts working again as soon as help arrives), 'My Boss was in an Indie Band Once' and the opening track 'Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid' (featuring the call-out “hey there emo boy, give us all a smile!”), and the music isn’t bad either!

If I should try to make a comparison both lyrically and musically, I should probably say that it sounds a bit like a British version of Don Lennon, backed up by Heavenly. But with that said, comparisons are just lazy, and I think you should check this out yourself, unless you’re one of those that don’t think that you should mix music and humour. Too bad for you, then.


Jane Ward, Drop-D:
Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez is the new offering from MJ Hibbett and The Validators. MJ (Mark John) is an English singer songwriter who first came to fame in 2000 with the release of Hey Hey 16k, a tribute to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and other home computing systems of the 1980’s. The song reached internet cult status after being animated by Rob Manuel, co-founder of b3ta.com. It received 2 million downloads in its first two weeks as well as becoming a popular t shirt slogan. Nine years on and MJ along with his band The Validators are still recording fun, quirky and memorable tracks combining comedy lyrics with morals and catchy tunes that I promise you will never get out of your head. The first song on the album echoes a sentiment felt by many people the world over Being Happy Doesn’t Make you Stupid. It’s incredibly upbeat with background noises from The Fantastic Four. It’s hard not to dance and laugh at the song, especially during the melody breakdown “hey there emo boy give us all a smile”.

The album invites you to see the world through MJ’s eyes, where even the worst of situations can be laughed at and sung about, no scenario is too close to the skin for discussion MJ’s lyrics are more anecdotal than anything. Do The Indie Kid tells the story of a trip to a French nightclub and his observation of the lack of enthusiasm from the locals while dancing. The song contains instructions for the listener to dance to indie music in a way made famous in Indie clubs the world over. “Hands behind your back and bounce your hips, move your feet around and do the Indie Kid”. He also mentions his disgust at his elderly family members doing the twist to The Pixies at a wedding.

MJ Himself has been recording since 1983 originally with his first band The Masters of Nothing. This is his fifth album with The Validators since 2000. Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez is a fun album. Even the more somber melodies are accompanied by MJ’s quirky lyrics. We Can Start Having Fun, a song about life getting in the way of living seems solemn “We can start to relax in the next band of tax we’ve children to raise and more bills to pay responsibilities” but like many of the tracks needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s a song about life as we all know it, and he finds a way to make it interesting.

The album invites you to see the world through MJ’s eyes, where even the worst of situations can be laughed at and sung about, no scenario is too close to the skin for discussion. This is evident when at times the album strays over into the realm of political satire. The song Red Black Gold talks of the paranoia and fear of nuclear war “And I thought, well that’s great, that we live in an age where the kids don’t live in certain knowledge. That they’ll all be wiped out beneath a mushroom cloud before they’re halfway through sixth form college”.

Even at its most serious the album us eccentric and enjoyable. It’s definitely worth a listen if you’re in the mood for something different.


Adrian Denning, Adrian Denning Reviews:
'Hey there Emo boy, give yourself a smile' sings MJ Hibbett & The Validators and why not? 'At the height of Britpop, I found myself in France' says MJ Hibbett on second track, 'Do The Indie Kid' and fans of The Wedding Present are probably smiling already. This isn't a band I was familiar with incidentally even though they've been around awhile. In fact this is the groups eighth album of sorts since 2000, quite a prolific run by anyone's standards. The band were formed in 1999 when MJ Hibbett recruited Tim Pattison from indie rock legends Prolapse. In 2003 they managed a 'Record Of The Year' gong from Rolling Stone's 'Well Hung At Dawn' column. MJ Hibbett has been compared to Billy Bragg in the press but i'm thinking Hefner, Wedding Present and Half Man, Half Biscuit. The opening cut for instance is Wedding Present circa 1988 complete with proper old-school indie production. The second track 'Do The Indie Kid' is funny and silly and the joke won't last forever but the tune is charming in any event.

A word about the physical CD product before I carry on. We get a standard plastic case but the CD itself contains some great multimedia. We get lyrics, sleevenotes, chords, a mini album of demos and a magazine. MJ Hibbett may not sell hundreds of thousands of albums but these extras are a message for major labels, give us some extra value for money in this modern digital age and we'll be more likely to part with our hard earned cash. 'Best Behaviour' is great and I thought this type of jangly indie-pop went out of fashion around 1988. What a surprise and a what a gift for music lovers this is right through to the closing track, a seven minute 'epic' titled 'Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something'. A well-worn Phil Spector drum-beat, everyday story-telling lyrics and a few louder dramatic sections for good measure. Epic in the way only thinly recorded yet massively fun indie-music of a particular vintage can be.


James Walsh, The Morning Star:
IN a pointy-bearded parallel universe, MJ Hibbett & The Validators would be more than just underground legends.

Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez is stuffed with rumbustious pop philosophy you can dance to - the self-explanatory Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid, the Hibbett diet plan of Do More, Eat Less and the introducing-the-girlfriend awkwardness of Best Behaviour.

The ballads are cracking too. Information Technology torch song It Only Works Because You're Here is Hibbett's Back For Good, and Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something is a sweet eulogy to a disappearing town, the pubs and venues he played and the town he might have stayed in, all torn down in the name of progress.

This is indie music the way it was supposed to be, with a gleeful, anarchic DIY spirit, the band's enthusiasm for each and every song bursting out of the stereo. There be magic here - seek it out.


Andrew Livesy, Tasty Fanzine:
There’s a lot to recommend about an album that starts with a sample from the 60’s ‘Fantastic 4’ cartoon and contains references to the Inhumans. But just like the forthcoming Trek reboot in-depth geek knowledge isn’t required to enjoy the newest offering from MJ Hibbett and the Validators - a collection 13 tracks that is best described in their own words as “thrilling pop songs about the reality of life in your thirties“. There are plenty of stand out fast paced tracks, like the insanely catchy ’Do The Indie Kid’ which comes with it’s own timewarpesque dance moves and their ode to duffing ‘We’re Old And We’re Tired (and we want to go home)’. But for those of us who have been around 30+ years it’s the melancholy tracks like ’We Can Start Having Fun’ and ’Leicester’s Trying to Tell Me Something’ that can make you stop for a moment and make you think about the life you‘ve led. This has to be the best produced, played and tunefully sung Validators album I’ve heard; and while a tiny bit of me misses their old lo-fi stylings hopefully this album will help them find a wider, and much deserved, audience.


Simon, Sweeping The Nation:
We've maintained on here before that you cannot review Half Man Half Biscuit. They just work on a completely different sphere to everyone else, so while any deviations from musical orthodoxy are so uncommon as to be actively notable it's in the references, the targets, the lyrics, damn, the whole ethos of Nigel Blackwell.

MJ Hibbett is much the same, which makes a kind of sense given the Peterborough raised, Leicester established, now resident in the not exactly as unique London songsmith formed his backing band in the hope of getting HMHB supports, with some success (and Nigel gets a namecheck herein). Ofen jaunty, occasionally wistful, mildly folky indie as she used to be writ is the default setting, on top of which Hibbett waxes wry about the things that concern a working man gradually ekeing his way through his thirties, full of sardonicness and observational charm. We've seen him and them three times in the last year and a bit in various circumstances and fully enjoyed each and every one of them.

There's a new album. It's called Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez, properly released on 11th May on Hibbett's own Artists Against Success. Topics tackled include why men aren't actually all sad/bastards/sad bastards, the ills of being "politically incorrect" and proud, taking responsibility for your own weight, why kids don't understand the lyrics of the Smiths' Ask any more, love in the IT department, social engagements ending too late and, on the seven minute epic closer Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something, Hibbett lamenting that all his old playing and drinking haunts are being shut down in the name of "progress" - something close to our heart too, evidently - so much so that he had to re-record part of the vocal late on when the Charlotte shut. Also on the album: The Music Of The Future. It's smart, fabulous stuff, perhaps even his best full-length, and confirms Hibbett's position as a unique sort of national treasure. In short: GRATE!


Sam, A Layer Of Chips:
Since The Great Indiepop Revival of the mid-2000s, some of my happiest moments have been spent at MJ Hibbett & the Validators gigs. And, as the decade draws to a close, it seems apt that Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez is all those wonderful times wrapped up in a beautifully packaged compact disc.

This album's been a long time coming, of course. Mark Hibbett has been honing these songs during his solo gigs and with the Validators for what feels like forever, but it's here that they sound at their fullest, most round, and joyous.

The rattling rush of Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid kicks things off, but it's the kooky Do More, Eat Less and the ACE Best Behaviour that really set the tone of the album. On previous Validators records Emma's voice has often been an afterthought, it seems to me, but here she actually adds a whole new, exciting dimension to the songs.

And what's this! Red Black Gold is a throwback to Hibbett songs of yesteryear. Y'know, songs like You Fucking Hippy, or Red and White Sockets. Red Black Gold rocks, and appears to be an account of an old Soviet conspiracy. And then, half way through, the songs changes completely and starts paraphrasing Ask by The Smiths. It's most queer.

My Boss Was in an Indie Band Once sounds like Jo Boxers' Boxerbeat sung by car mechanics. And is therefore fantastic. It Only Works Because You're Here is the best song he's written according to Hibbett, and is gently, prettily world weary - like all the best songs.

And the hits just keep on coming. I can quite easily show solidarity with We're Old andWe're Tired (and we want to go home), which laments the fact that gigs start and finish ridiculously late, when all you want to do is get home in time for the ten 0'clock news.

But! The highlight of this wonderfully assured, confident album is Leicester's Trying to Tell Me Something. A paean to the ever-changing cityscape of the East Midlands city, Hibbett mourns the fact that most of the places he grew up loving music in and meeting people who would be friends for life, are disappearing in the name of "progress". I think people of a certain age can empathise with this.

So, this is easily the best Validators record so far. And as long as we have Mark Hibbett's views on life set to music we love, then the world will be a slightly better place. Oh, and whilst I'm at it - congratulations to Tim the drummer for the production. Which is superb.


Shadowplay:
If you’ve read ShadowPlay for any amount of time you’ll be fully aware who, and what, MJ Hibbett is – for some the funniest guy in indie music who tells it like it is, for others, I’ve been told, he comes across as smug and judging. Evidently I agree with the former so it’s a pleasure to see the man from Peterborough/Leicester return with a new studio album, Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez which commits to record some of the tunes he’s been touring for the last year or two.

So, he bounds in with Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid – something I totally agree with as cheerful prose can often come across as irritating when really, why not? I know it’s not very English though – Do the Indie Kid and It Only Works Because You’re Here. In true Hibbett style they’re great stories – French mid-90s discos, dancing at weddings and broken computers leading to romance, you know the score. Elsewhere we get the glorious My Boss Was in an Indie Band Once and One of the Walls of My House Fell In which are both as much for fans of a good story tape as a tune. Hibbett’s always adjustable, cheery vocal can sometimes get a little over the course of a whole record but some beautiful work from his Validators, namely Tom ‘Tiger’ McClure in particular make this as enjoyable, original and funny a record as the comic legend has produced so far.


John Kell, John Kell VS Satan:
As I was sitting in the Pineapple prior to Half Man Half Biscuit last October, I realised there’s a generation gap between me and Mark Hibbett. Not in the general sense: if a generation is 30 years, then the gap is anything beyond 15 years either side, and much as I enjoy reminding Mark how much younger I am than him… I’m not that much younger. It’s a musical generation gap: Mark remembers indie in the 1980s, before Britpop. He knows people who once had a pint in Sheffield with Jarvis Cocker, when he was just some lanky guy managing dodgy bands in Sheffield when his own band wasn’t doing anything. It probably seems the most natural thing in the world to Mark.

This is a significant thing: there’s all manner of jangly 80s indie bands of which I’m barely aware. Only the Smiths have really stood the test of time. To people now in their twenties (sorry Mark), the impact of Suede’s first album in the dog days of Kingmaker and Mega City Four can’t really be comprehended – at least, when I finally heard it post-Britpop, it seemed like old hat to me.

So, context is everything. An important item of context for MJ Hibbett’s fourth album with the Validators – Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez (from now on: RER) – is that producer (and drummer) Tim Pattison is also of the pre-Britpop era; indeed, he’s a massive fan of the Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit, and is ex of Prolapse. With all of this in mind, it’s maybe not surprising that RER sounds decidedly 80s much of the time. There is probably more distorted guitar than on any Validators record to date: a dense sound that’s a beefier version of what you’d find on many an 80s indie record.

It feels odd to be talking about an MJ Hibbett record in terms of the sound first, rather than the songs. But the songs are pretty much a constant these days. They are, as ever, acute, true, sometimes touching, often funny, and above all, VALID. Song titles like We’re Old and We’re Tired (and we want to go home) and Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid give you the gist.

I said of this record’s predecessor, We Validate! that it was, “less an album, more a manual for life,” and much the same goes here. We Validate! featured the Validators playing with an impressive and coherent group sound for the first time, perhaps because it was recorded in less of a piecemeal fashion than the first two records. So I was slightly surprised to hear Mark suggest that the second album, This Is Not A Library (TINAL) remained his favourite (prior to this one), in preference to We Validate! I have a bit of a theory about this, actually. TINAL’s signature track, Easily Impressed, seems to me to be the first of Mark’s “here’s a good idea for how to live life” songs, which are his best. It has been followed by many more. The album overall was a mix of these and some of the more introspective or observational songs heard on his debut, Say It With Words. Perhaps it’s this, and the drawn-out recording sessions in Leicester, that lead Mark to prefer This Is Not A Library over We Valdate!; but for my money, We Validate! saw the blossoming of the post-Easily Impressed Hibbett, being a suite of the more reflective songs, and was all the more satisfying for it.

Another contrast between latterday Hibbett and earlier records is that Mark seems in much more confident voice on record these days: this must be a product of being in a recording studio, as the largely home-recorded All Around My House and A Million Ukeleles seemed to feature rather more quiet vocals, more like the performances on Say It With Words.

Mark’s confident vocals, plus the coherence of the sound brought by Producer Tim, carry this set of songs extremely well. My favourite moments include the unconventional arrangement of Do More, Eat Less (also a particularly brilliant lyric, with Mark using weight loss as a metaphor for taking responsibility for one’s fate, of which, oddly, Margaret Thatcher would probably approve) and the classic pop arrangement of My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once, which comes out sounding like Breakaway. The sonorous yet jangly guitar of Leicester’s Trying To Tell Me Something, as well as Emma’s floaty vocals sound particularly early ’90s, even verging on – dare I say? – shoegazing… I do wonder if the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink backing doesn’t occasionally compete with the songs a bit – All the Good Men in particular seemed to work even better in Totally Acoustic mode to me.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for Mark: even now he is writing his one-man rock opera (sic) for this year’s Edinburgh Festival, and I’m looking forward to that immensely. I hope it doesn’t overshadow Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez, however, as it is BLOODY GRATE and you should buy it.


Paul Golder, Phoenix FM:
I'm actually BUYING so many albums now (or being sent them for free, yes, that's the one) that I can actually afford a probably-regular Album Of The Week shoehorned into the two hours of musical wonderment that is the Mixtape (yes, that's it, too).

Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez gets the honour of being the first NOT JUST because it's a GRATE album, full of the lyrical genius and pithy situations that MJHV fans have come to know and love, but the packaging ... nice box, brilliant booklet explaining all manner of things about the songs on the album - brilliant! It's out on 11 May. More of the madness at www.mjhibbett.net or the wonderfully-monikered www.artistsagainstsuccess.com.


Bernard Bessing, Is This Music:
For the uninitiated, Mark Hibbett is a one-man band from Leicester (or thereabouts) and his Validators are a motley bunch who augment the man’s indiepop tunes and take them from being chipper singer-songwriter stuff to rather more filled-out polished tunes.

As you’d imagine it’s at least in part about the lyrics - and even the titles in a sense - think ballboy or Half Man Half Biscuit for the rambling humour and indeed summary of the song in one line.

‘Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid’ opens and is a joyous, C86 rush and a fine way to start any album, while ‘Do More Eat Less’ shows sharp comic development beyond the obvious - “weebles in distress” is as good a three-word description of Britain’s big-boned society as you’ll get. ‘Do The Indie Kid’, similarly, is a silly tune that takes in time travel, continental musical tastes and bad dancing at weddings. ‘Best Behaviour’ concentrates less on the lyrics, but Hibbett’s singing style - not really technically gifted - is augmented by Emma Pattinson’s backing and some musically adept work from the Validators.

Other highlights are ‘Red Black Gold’, quite simply a great indie rock tune with a blast of a chorus and there’s more silliness on ‘My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once’, while similarly, except in a Poguesey stylee, ‘We’re Old And We’re Tired (and we want to go home’) is a riotous ode to what happens to bands once the first flushes of youth have gone.

An album which almost always hits the mark (‘It Only Works Because You’re Here’ the exception being a wee bit sentimental for its own good) it is one I’d singularly recommend to fans of all the bands mentioned above. Plus everyone else who enjoys a good tune and a snappy lyric. And if that’s not you, why are you here?


Liz Harvs, Whisperin & Hollerin :
MJ Hibbett & The Validators specialise in that kind of indie-pop that really makes your ears prick up. Even the individual song titles leap out and almost beg you play them before any other track. Prime examples are 'My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once' and 'We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home).

They do however straddle that particularly tough line where humour meets music. They're all very good songs but at times it's hard to take the album as anything more than a good laugh. Coming from where they have come from though (one of them was in Prolapse don't you know!) you can expect a certain level of quality. For the most part MJ and Co. do not disappoint!

Deserving of multiple listens, all in all!



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