Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Pete Green, MJ Hibbett - The Lamb

Early doors shows tonight, I didn't even have time for me dinner before heading out and I'm Hank Marvin.

Too early for my London gig companion, Fiona, who was tied up until eight, but hey ho, I'll be able to get home and get my write up online quicker this way.

Pete Green's playing tomorrow night an'all, would it be overkill to see him then too?

At first it wasn't clear where the show was, so I crammed in with a bunch of businessmen supping pints until Pete and Mark passed by and pointed me the way.

Oh to the smoking ban, this place would be so much better if it were smokey, all green carpets, red walls and wood panelling. You may not be allowed to light up, but surely someone could inent tobacco fragranced air-freshener, there'd be a captive market for thousands of sales. Can Silk Cut no do it?

There's no stage here, just a dozen tables and chairs. I rather selfishly took a corner table, three chairs and one me, my lack of eye-contact guards them.

Christ, why did I have to single out Waz in the 'Flyer review? He's everywhere and I have no gripe with him. Just briefly during 'Tracks this overpowering sense of alienation, when folk chatted about the weekend later, I wouldn't be party to the banter.

Pete Green
picks a spot in front of thr middle window and dons his guitar. Two adventurous souls join my table, and Crystalball hands out flyers for tomorrow's show. Shit, I just made contact with a chap I thought was Lars Frodo, but wasn't. The place is filling up.
Frequency response graph
Hi, my name's Chris, I work for a company making hi-fis. With any piece of hi-fi equipment affects the audio signal in someway. Assuming that a CD has been recorded and produced perfectly as the artist and engineer wants it it has a flat frequency response and if on your hi-fi system you turn the bass up or the treble down, you're essentially distorting the way the artist intended it to be heard. Now, with acoustic music, played live, there's isn't so much means to distort the sound. The artist can sing louder or play quieter, as is their perogative, but out of their control is the acoustics of the room. MJ Hibbett introduced Pete Green saying that he last saw him playing in a train carriage at IndieTracks and it was great, now tonight, I'm sat at the back and the frequency response of the room sounds a little different.

He asks is we can hear him okay, well, yeah, its okay, not perfect, but there's little he can do about it.

The weirdest thing, I was just drawing thems graphs abstractly, wondering about when I'd ever heard Pete Green recorded when suddenly I realised the song he was playing was on the Not Quite Rocket Science: Podcast #8 which is almost all I've been listening to for the last week, new computer with no MP3s.

He's very good playing live and acoustic, on his own, which admittedly is how I usually see him. One of his best acoustic shows according to the girl next to me, no chance of technical difficulties.

Comfortable, confident, knowledgable songs but still understated, kind of kneegazery. I bought a single on my way out, no record player though.

Short break between acts for drinks, cigarettes, the loo etc, I texted the missus and may have only just caught the start of MJ Hibbett's set.

He projects more, louder and more animated. The first song The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B) reminds me of the songs passing troubadours would sing round campfires at early nineties scout camps. Do they still do that?
When he played the slow song, It only works because you're here, my eyes all welled up and it was only by scribbling in my notebook that I didn't greet. It catches me right here, inside, as it did when I first heard it so far away.

The Lesson of the Smiths is still a life philosophy rather than just a song. Gay Train just reminds me of going to Clapham. New songs went down well, with the handful of people at the show seeing Hibbett of the first time, the looks of wonder on their faces. For the finale his Fresh Prince cover was the most joyous I've ever heard ir. MJ had to open a window mid-song it was getting so exciting.

Underground ride home, desperate for a wee, would have gone at the gig but I was holding a record.


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