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Songs: Let The Weird Band Win

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<a href="http://mjhibbett.bandcamp.com/track/let-the-weird-band-win">Let The Weird Band Win by MJ Hibbett &amp; The Validators</a>
Let the weird band win in the battle of the bands
Don't let the funk band win it just because they've got more fans
Let's reward imagination, let's applaud their spirit and
Let's let the weird band win in the battle of the bands

You know the ones I mean, they'll have a bloody stupid name
An eclectic range of instruments that none of them can play
And a singer who can't sing, I think it's fairly safe to say
That they're only here because another band has run away

But the songs that they sing
Are about all sorts of things
That no one else has sung about
Or thought about before

Let the weird band win in the battle of the bands
Don't let the blues band win it just because they've got more fans
Let's reward imagination, let's applaud their spirit and
Let's let the weird band win in the battle of the bands

And they're talking to the audience, they're trying to explain
As they stand and sing their hearts out from the island of of the stage
In a set where no two songs will sound in any way the same
They've have found a way to use a plectrum at the same time as a brain

But they're roundly ignored
With sarcastic applause
And the judges will smirk
smile and try to look bored

Because the weird band can't win the battle of the bands
They'll let the punk band win it just because they've got more fans
They wouldn't know imagination if it bit them on the arse
That's why the weird band can't win in the battle of the bands

The enemy's in leather jackets, over denim jackets
Wearing hats of all descriptions and their sun glasses indoors
They started shooting moody glances when a girlfriend started dancing
To our heroes' shambling antics, but she didn't stop because

The songs that they sing
Are about all sorts of things
That no one else has sung about
Or thought about before

And like the first drop of a monsoon something marvellous begins
As all around her other girlfriends start to hear the words they sing
And as the rain falls harder round her and the waters rise up high
It might just be tonight's the night the judges judge the damn thing right

And let the weird band win in the battle of the bands
As the righteous waves wash clean the worlds of other people's fans
And they're applauded for intelligence, imagination and
They let the weird band win in the battle of the bands

The songs that they sing
Are about all sorts of things
And nothing like this has ever happened
To any weird band before


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

We JAMMED this song as a band i.e. we made it up in a practice room. It was the first time The Validators had ever actually done this - Tim used to do it all the time in Prolapse (actually I think ALL their songs were done this way), and he was always going on about doing a few songs for the next album this way so I suggested we do a pilot study of his proposals on the new EP, to see how we got on.

Years ago, when I was in Voon we used to JAM songs quite often, but I hadn't done anything like this for about eight YEARS. It felt rather strange, to discover long abandoned chunks of my BRANE dustily whirring back into action . The first thing we tried out turned out GOTH (this is always the way - I think maybe Goth Bands sound like they do because they're too lazy to say "No, that was rubbish, let's try something quicker!" in practices), but the second ROCKED, and ROCKED even more so as we worked through it.

Frankie had brought his MP3 recorder with him, and the very next day I found myself downloading a rough and very LOUD recording of the song we'd just done. Moderne, no? Over the next week or so I LABOURED over the lyrics, producing the song Like A Sun In The Night. The version of the song stored on the multimedia for Shed Anthems is one I recorded over the top of Rob's practice room rehearsal, and sounded fine to me then, but when I tried to sing it over the version we recorded with Kev it all sounded rather wrong. The words sounded slack, some of them made no sense (there's a line about "silent summers" at the end which is daft because the whole song was about HEARING summer through song), and it generally sounded A Bit Dreary.

THUS I decided to rewrite the entire thing from scratch. This decision was taken on a Friday evening. The next day I had to burn a CD to give to Emma and Tim at a gig in Nottingham on the Sunday, in order for her to learn the new words in time for it to be recorded. I'd be out of the house Saturday afternoon and Sunday, so Friday night and Saturday morning was a FRENZY of activity, as the whole thing had to be written, recorded, mixed, put onto computer and then BURNT onto CD. It didn't help either that my printer ran out of ink, leaving me to dash around the house with piles of pieces of paper, making FRANTIC NOTES as I tried new things out.

Handily, I'd got home from work on Friday night with a new TUNE in my head, based around some words I'd written in at the end of my Scottish Tour in Edinburgh the week before - "let the weird band win in the battle of the bands", which had STRUCK me when talking about such things with Adam from The Hector Collectors. In fact, the "enemy in leather jackers over denim jackets" is a straightforward description of the band we were playing with that night, as is the fact that they got upset when one of their girlfriends got interested in my set. Much of the rest of it is based on lengthy, and grim, personal experience, not least the "last" VOON gig, when me and Chris came determinedly LAST, and were heavily mentioned by the judges as being LAST, purely because we'd spent half our set slagging off the judges... cuh! It's also the same sort of idea as The Peterborough All Saints Wide Game Team (group B), wanting to see MY LOT actually coming out on top of this sort of situation for a change.

The nice thing about this song is that everyone I've told about it has nodded and required no further explanation of what it might be about, or how it might all work, almost as if it's something I've gone ON about in the past. Indeed, listening to a copy of it in the car driving home from the gig in Nottingham (which turned out to be Not Very Good) on the Sunday, Tom said "Are you sure you haven't already written lots of songs about Battle Of The Bands?" I don't know. I don't think so...


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