Thursday, 15 May 2008

Indietracks seen through the eyes of MJ Hibbett...

MJ Hibbett, everyone's favourite acoustic troubador, is previewing his "My Exciting Life in Rock!" show at Indietracks this year ahead of showcasing it at the Edinburgh Festival - proper posh, like! All those who snapped up the first 100 Indietracks tickets will be able to see the show on the Friday night before the festival. We literally can't wait, so we begged Mr H to give us a little glimpse of what he's got in store, as well as some of his favourite moments from last year's festival....

Indietracks is having pretty much all new bands playing this year - a WORTHY endeavour, one might think. It gives a chance for a whole slew of different people to play and rewards return visitors with a completely different set of bands to enjoy. Yes, it's all very worthy, except for one vital and, I would say, much more important consideration.

We played last year, and we want to play again!

Now, at first glance you might think this is slightly selfish, but I can find plenty of other people who feel (roughly) the same way - about 38 other bands, in fact, who all consider it a completely valid music booking policy with perhaps room for just one exception to be made. Only the exception differs.

Now, when Sir Stuart Mackay (it can't be long) and the Indietracks Team were inundated with bands making this (almost entirely) selfless point they decided to do something about it and open up three slots for returning bands, to be decided by a popular vote. This probably seemed like a lovely thing to do, at the time, but little did they realise that actually they were about to make life much much worse for 35 bands - not only would they not be coming back to play this year, they would know that the REASON was that not enough people like them.

INEXPLICABLY one of the bands not to be chosen was MY band - I can only assume everybody assumed that everybody ELSE would be voting for us, so wanted to give someone else a chance, right? Now, we're not exactly unfamiliar with the sensation of not getting asked to play at festivals, in fact as experts in the area go we are one exam away from Chartered Status, and normally we shrug our shoulders, have a bit of a cry, and start sending begging emails to someone else instead, but with Indietracks it was different.
Indietracks was BRILLIANT! It was, in all honestly one of the Best Weekends in ROCK I have EVER had - INDEED, over the course of the weekend, several of us old-timers were heard to mumble, gathered over our halves of mild, "It's the best thing since Bowlie!" It was THAT good, so good that in retrospect even the camping seemed delightful and I still hanker for those Cheese And Fried Onion Baps that were the main Vegetarian Alternative at the barbecue. Trains, Real Ale, Indie Discos and pretty much ALL of the loveliest people that I've met in the past ten years On The Road, all in one place? How could it BE any better? Oh yeah, BANDS!

So yes, the realisation that we WEREN'T going to be playing was too awful to bear, so we did the honourable thing: we CHEATED. Technically speaking me and The Validators AREN'T playing Indietracks this year...but we ARE doing a special pre-Indietracks show. The night before Indietracks, on the Indietracks site, for the first 100 people who bought tickets for Indietracks. I make no bones about it, it IS cheating, but it's going to be GRATE! We're so excited about it we're even going to have a PRACTICE, and as anyone who's ever seen us live will know, this is a BIG DEAL! We're going to have to, because the show, "My Exciting Life In ROCK!" is going to be a full band version of the solo show I'm going to be doing at the Edinburgh Festival, which features LOADS of songs that we've NEVER done as Validators before. We're also doing it Totally Acoustically, another thing we've never done before, and I realised that once we've paid for space for rehearsals, train fares to GET to rehearsals, and BEER to drink before, during and AFTER rehearsals, well, we'd have been better off financially PAYING for tickets and camping for the weekend and just turning up. But then, well, we wouldn't have been playing at Indietracks, and that would have been awful!

Don't forget to check out the fantabulous video for MJ Hibbett and The Validators' latest single- Do The Indie Kid. It's already more than 30,000 views!

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