February 29, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Unwanted Evolution Of Smarties

Filed under: Uncategorized, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 10:31 am

Monday, July 24, 2006

  PXPL & The Unwanted Evolution Of Smarties
Current mood: annoyed
Category: a little lost & found Writing and Poetry

I’m not a man who is afraid of change… I have David Bowie AND Madonna albums to back this claim. But every so often I am left with my hands on hips looking towards the sky thinking “if it aint broke… don’t fix it”.This is a case in point, this is….


PhoeniX PhiL & The Unwanted Evolution Of Smarties

A running joke between my mother and my brother revolves around my love of Smarties. Famously, this came about when my brother asked me what my favourite chocolate bar was. I answered Smarties and every mocked me… “Ha Ha Divy-Phigis … SMARTIES !?! … it’s not even a chocolate bar! ha ha ha” Yes, I know it’s not even a chocolate bar but let me explain…My mum / household had a very strict regime on food. I could always tell what the day was by what I had for dinner. Thus…

MONDAY - Chicken fingers / Alpha-bites/ beans

TUESDAY - Bacon (or omelette) / beans

WEDNESDAY - Beef Burger & Pasta (or “Beef & Pas’ ” as it become known… famously, my favourite meal)

THURSDAY - The dreaded “Gravy Meal”… sausages / or cheap pie, mashed or boiled potatoes, with horrible frozen peas.

FRIDAY - Budget Rib steaks or “White block” (a strange block of fish) with rice and sweet corn.

SATURDAY - Lunch time: Daddy’s Mince (this is a bit of a strange one and may need a spin off blog entry of it’s own. and NO! it isn’t anything sexual… it’s stranger than that).

Tea Time: Oven chips, slice of bread and a Sausage Roll.

SUNDAY - was more varied food wise although we’d listen to the vintage charts at lunch and the Radio one top 40 at tea time.

So yeah… part of my mum’s food regime was that we were only allowed a chocolate bar on Tuesday and Saturday. Mother used to buy the multi - packs in Sainsburys and more often than not it would be the Nestle-Rowntree range that would be discounted.

Aeros were quite nice in winter. You could leave them to go cold and crisp in the fridge and then drunk them in your tea. One of my favourite Aero techniques was to bite off a cool, crisp chunk of Aero and leave it in my mouth slowly dissolving. Then take a glug of strong, sweet tea and feel the hot Tetley pierce the chocolate bubbles. It was quite a sensual experience for a lonely boy in a small town.

As enjoyable as “the Great Aero / Tea Sessions: 1990 -1996″ were, I had a strange fondness for Smarties. They’d arrive in tightly wrapped packs of three tube normally with a free fourth tube. If Smarties were being sold in packs of four tubes it was a certainty that Mother would buy them… being on a budget the extra tube help saved pennies but also 4 tubes worked out even shares between me and my brother.

Smarties on a teenaged Tuesday was a gloriously exciting affair. Following a strange series of circumstances I had been labelled and left with the role of “Supper King”. This essential meant that at 10 PM I’d be nagged into making a cup of tea for everyone (Mum would make increasingly louder “dry mouth” noises until the tea was served) and sometimes some cereal for Dad.

Once the family were satisfied I would sneak upstairs with not only a tube of smarties but also with the bottom third of Saturday’s 2 litre Pepsi that I was allowed to finish off. As much as I enjoyed the chocolate and pop while listening to Mark Radcliff’s late night radio 1 show (or as between song “fuel” for my late night leap around the bedroom to “Cheap Trick Live At The Budokan” sessions) a big part of the reason that I loved Smarties was the packaging.

Firstly there was the plastic cap with a random letter on the back. This was exciting in several ways, most obviously the strange excitement if the Smarties letter was the first letter of your own name. The other way was a personal way, I used to collect a  couple of months worth of Smarties lids and if I could spell out the name of whichever girl I was currently stalking well ….then it was meant to be.

Strangely, I never got the right letters for “I-N-D-I-E G-I-R-L    T-H-A-T   W-O-R-K-S  I-N    O-U-R-P-R-I-C-E” I always had plenty of T’s and R’s but alas never enough vowels.

A less soppy form of fun was to hide on the stairs in the dark and then shoot a family member by popping the little white cardboard disk out of the bottom at them.

Maybe if I had popped my disk at the “Indie Girl That Works In Our Price” she would have loved me. Actually I realised early on that the situation was made up of futile heart beats… after all she was at least two years older than me and her boyfriend looked like Evan Dando. Apparently he was in some “local band” and his cousin was the Dolly Grip for the TV show “The Word”.

Naturally, I didn’t stand a chance… HECK! I wasn’t even cool enough to know their names.

But I used to see them around…

Oh! how I used to see them around. *sigh*





Now Smarties have these rubbish, possibly more cost effective cardboard hexaganal tubes. Is nothing sacred! I now have no way of collecting letters to make girl’s names.

The worse thing about these new tubes is that they pop open at the slightest touch… leading to all kinds of further problems with the security staff at the Tesco Metro.


February 28, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 26/10/00 - The Boardwalk, Sheffield

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 5:39 pm

There are many good reasons for going on tour. Usually one does it to “support” a record, in the hope that playing live will persuade someone to buy your merchandise. Sometimes it can be just as a money making exercise, or to try out new material, or as warm-ups for other, bigger, gigs yet to come.

I decided to go on tour to use up some holiday time. ROCK!

To be honest, there was another only slightly more sensible piece of thinking behind it - we’d released our album a few months ago and were a LONG way off even STARTING to record more Validators material, so I worked out that if I could afford to record a SOLO single then THAT would be a perfect excuse to go out and have some ROCK AND ROLL HIJINKS! Astute readers might note the obvious FLAW in this plan - once I’d sent the usual 50 promo copies out, I’d have 450 MORE singles going dusty under my bed - but I’d recently cleared out my loft and was confident I could cope with the storage requirements.

What I wasn’t quite ready for was the soul crushing DESPAIR that would well up whilst trying to book gigs in places where I didn’t have much of a name for myself i.e. EVERYWHERE. After many many days of trying I found myself pondering which was WORSE - leaving reams of messages that never got replied to OR actually talking to people and saying “Er… my name’s MJ Hibbett and… no, no, I suppose you won’t have heard of me, but I HAVE got a single out, honest. Hello?” I think possibly the latter.

EVENTUALLY, however, I DID get a few gigs sorted out, and CORALLED my record company colleague The Whitaker to come with me. As we were preparing to embark on The Road I said to him in a rather cavalier way “Don’t bother using the car Mat - we’ll get the train!” Even in normal circumstances this can be a bit DICEY, but on this occasion it was NAKED FOOLISHNESS, as the Hatfield Rail Crash meant that SUDDENLY there had to be “Emergency” Speed Restrictions the length and breadth of the rail network. It turned out that half the tracks in the country were “unsafe” (i.e. might potentially maybe have deteriorated as much as the track that caused the accident, or might in the future, or knew someone who’d met some once), with the spineless useless greedy bastards who run the railways PANICKING and forcing ALL trains to run at INCREDIBLY slow speeds. This meant complete and utter chaos across the entire country as suddenly public transport became almost completely unusable.

THUS I found that the normal hour’s journey to Sheffield took THREE hours and so I arrived at the venue with only ten minutes to go before I was due on stage. The management had given up on me - this was, as I say, IN THE PAST when hardly anybody had a mobile phone - and were as surprised to see me as I was RELIEVED to finally be off the train. LUCKILY there was precisely NOBODY there to see me so it wouldn’t have mattered either way, and I did my set at high speed to about five people who’d got there early for the next act, and left.

We got the TRAM (remarkably unaffected by the “emergency”) up to the University, where some pals had a DISCOTHEQUE and me and The Whitaker fully immersed ourselves in that GRATE Student Ritual: POUND A PINT. It was like a nostalgia trip combined with… well, loads of beer, and as a direct result we discovered the Great Truth About Disco Dancing: the further away you are from home, the less arsed you have to be about what a tit you make of yourself.

Sheffield, that night, felt a VERY long way away from home!

February 27, 2008

PXPL & The Sticky Mishap

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 1:08 pm

PXPL & The Sticky Mishap

Current mood: crushed
Category: a little lost and found
Writing and Poetry

Friday 16th June 2006 T’was a great night… my housemate Ed aka “The Rulez” came along with me to see Lucky Soul play at the Brixton windmill and now he is also a dedicated “Soul’dier”… although the hot weather meant that had a few too many shandies and was probably a bit devastated… I apologise if I upset anyone. This is…

Phoenix PhiL & The Sticky Mishap

Anyhow, the “Lips Are Unhappy” / “Baby I’m Broke” single by Lucky Soul is sound tracking my Summer…. it’s a bittersweet double header that I keep listening to. I remember during the long hot Summer of ‘95 I had Supergrass “Alright” / “Time” orange 7 inch constantly on my Alba mini hifi turntable. If I was about to hit the streets or if life was good then I’d throw the needle onto “Alright”… when I’d come back home from the streets - all tired and defeated, I’d flip the yellow 7inch over and collapse to the melancholic tones “Time”. Well, the new Lucky Soul single has a similar effect on me these days. The bittersweet pop heaven of “Lips Are Unhappy” despite being kind of a break up song was built for hitting the street and the flip side “Baby I’m Broke” is the perfect soundtrack for collapsing on your bed with a big cup of tea while summer rain hits your bedroom window.


I was so drunk infact, that after the show I got a £1.99 “dirt box” from a dubious chicken outlet. It’s odd, most people get drunk and wake up with a headache and a rash regretting some ill advised night of passion… I get drunk and wake up with a stomach ache and an oily mouth regretting fast food.

Despite the KFC photo on MySpace.. I’m not really a “Chicken Box” kinda guy. I like chow mein in a tupperwear box but takeaways always close at like, 11 or something…. thus by the time your out on the streets feeling a bit tipsy and hungry for fodder they’ve already turned the lights off and gone to bed.

At my most blokey I have been known to “enjoy” the classic Kebab Meat & Chips in a polystyrene tray a “Yellow Sign Dirt Merchants”. I think this is mainly because I order it using my bestest faux-chav accent and then add the necessary “.. yeah and plenty of chilli sauce on that please mate”. Problem is with Meat & Chips is that it makes you stink like filth for the next three days and everyone avoids you like you’re the proverbial wicked uncle.

A classic Chippy is “the bliss” on the way home… just a simple open portion of big British chips… maybe sometimes with a saveloy. Oh the saveloy.. it’s like a sausage from outer space or something. The problem is with the classic chippy is that they tend to be family business and they shut early to avoid exposing their poor innocent children and frail grandparents to the drunken likes of me. And they tend to be located away from the night time world.

Anyhow, that is just some of the fun I have when choosing my post-boozing fodder supplier.

My mother’s right…. I’ll never marry.

SO, the next thing I know….

I woke in my front room at 4 in the morning with my massive Eeyore mug resting in my lap at a tilted angle… I felt a heavy drip…

..followed by another heavy drip

..drip! drip! and thrice, another drip!

My massive Eeyore mug that was resting in my lap albeit tilted at an angle was slowly pouring pepsi max all over my groin… still being a bit drunk, I whipped off my jeans and boxers shorts and left them half-in half-out of the washing machine and sloped off to bed with my bottom half completely naked…

I then woke up at about 10 am. I was lying on top of my bed with no underwear or trousers on… with the window wide open. I shudder to think who may have seen my sticky cola crotch in the early morning light. It would’ve put even the most gluttonous family off their breakfast.

Oh the trials of being “the bad boy twee”.



February 26, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 7/10/2000 - The Scala, London

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 5:26 pm

Here we go then - this one has got VIOLENCE, CELEBRITIES and even GURLS in it! HOLD TIGHT!

The day started well with me meeting a LADY! I have to admit, I was meeting her for a financial transaction - a sentence OFTEN used in the Kings Cross area. She was interested in some of my comics - a sentence almost NEVER used, anywhere.

INDEED the idea that a WOMAN would even LOOK at a comic was a source of continuing AMAZEMENT to Frankie and Mr Whitaker, my travelling companions and fellow Artists Against Success board members. Their ASTONISHMENT only increased when we met her and she turned out not only to be fairly normal but also Actually Quite Nice Looking. The poor woman must have felt a bit WEIRD being STARED at by these two while she and I were discussing the NEAR MINT quality of the publications, and they went on and on about it for most of the rest of the day. I tried to make them understand that the comics she’d bought were old issues of DEADLINE, the only comic that actually ever WAS even vaguely cool with GURLS, but they wouldn’t believe me.

The three of us were down in London Town for Scalarama, a big indie do being organised by the Fortuna Pop!, Where It’s At Is Where You’re At and StupidCat record labels. It featured loads of the bands CURRENT at the time on the indie scene but to be honest we were there because it was a GRAND excuse for a day long piss-up in the big smoke with loads of our PALS. Oh, and also because I was playing a sort of gig.

I say “sort of” because it very much WAS on sort of. There was an England game on that day so as a SOP to the (NOT REALLY INDIE) Indie types who’d be there the organisers had arranged for a big screen television to be set up somewhere, and Sean Fortuna Pop! had suggested it’d be a GOOD IDEA if I popped up during the half-time interval and played “The Fair Play Trophy”. I AGREED - not only would I officially be playing, but I’d also get in FREE!

The getting in FREE bit worked out well, the rest… not so much. I think the main problem was that I wasn’t advertised in the programme, or indeed anywhere, so that when I strolled out in front of the big screen during half time I looked like some random LOONEY who’d decided that he too was going to have a bit of a sing. Another problem was that, having just watched FOOTBALL, everyone was feeling a bit RAUCOUS, and really you could have PREDICTED that they’d start shouting for me to get off. Yet more problems stemmed from the fact that I had no microphone and that the screen was on a balcony overlooking the main stage, so that when bands started setting up down there you could hardly hear me at all. Apart from that: FANTASTIC.

Still, I HAD got in for free so felt I ought to earn my keep and was therefore GRIMLY DETERMINED to get through it. Luckily one of the main hecklers was a Melody Maker (ask your Grandad) “Journalist”, who fortuitously threw a pint glass at me just as I was about to start. As Rock Journalists were as much loved then as they are now I gambled on that saying “I’ve got to do this to get in free, so you can fuck off” and then throwing the pint glass BACK at him would win me some friends. SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE: it did.

I started BELLOWING over the heckling and the band downstairs, and was feeling Quite Good about the whole thing until I looked across to see Frankie (who was meant to be doing a trumpet solo in the middle of the song) WHITE FACED and SHAKING with fear. “Oh yes”, I thought, “This is both ridiculous AND riddled with the prospect of DANGER.”

I BELLOWED my way through, glaring at the enemy to a) show disdain b) keep an eye out for further glasses, and received, much to the surprise of the pint throwers, a MASSIVE round of applause. HOORAH! I felt VINDICATED and STRONG… though thankfully resisted the urge to PUSH it by doing another song, and RAN for the bar instead. Afterwards I was poncing around feeling all COOL and BRAVE and STICKING IT TO THE MAN until one of the pint throwers, himself, I think, a former Melody Maker journalist, came over and apologised for being rowdy and was INCREDIBLY NICE. The rotten sod, it completely took the wind out of my sails! CURSES.

Later on we went round the building handing out copies of the Artists Against Success newsletter, which we’d bought a pile of. Of all the Aspects Of Promotion that you have to TRY OUT when you want people to LIKE your stuff, HANDOUTS of all descriptions have always been my favourite. Putting up posters is lonely and MISERABLE but going round GIVING people bits of paper is EXCELLENT fun… so long as you’re a bit drunk when you do it, and in a good mood. I was VERY drunk and in EXCELLENT humour, so it was all fun until we started to find torn bits of coloured paper strewn around the room. Someone was deliberately destroying our newsletters!

As I’ve previously mentioned, there’d recently been a NUTTER going round Derby slagging us off, claiming that we were STEALING money from bands - a complete lie, of course, but people believed it for quite a while, including one gangly and - SUDDENLY - nervous young man who explained that THIS was why he was tearing them up for us. He was suddenly nervous because he was suddenly FACED with three RATHER BEERY blokes who wished to explain to him where he was going wrong. Now, in normal circumstances me, Frankie and The Whitaker are NOT particularly threatening individuals but in the context of A Bunch Of Indie Kids we were approaching BURLY. Also, The Whitaker is a TEACHER - and not one of those kindly, woolly teachers that you can mess about with either. He has THE EYEBROW! Many is the time Frankie and I would be playing the giddy goat at a board meeting when The Whitaker would simply raise THE EYEBROW and we would be STILLED. OH! The amount of Thinking About What We Had Done that would ENSUE!

After that there was yet MORE action: Martin Carr, one of my GRATE HEROES, was DJing and I had to get The Whitaker to go over and say hello for me and give him one of my CDs as all of my BRAVADO had withered. Pathetic isn’t it? He was very nice about the whole thing though and gave him one of HIS CDs in exchange, which I thought was terribly gentlemanly of him. I haven’t met (or got my friends to meet FOR me) all that many Heroic Warriors Of INDIE, but the ones I have met have ALWAYS followed this very basic rules: the ones who seem like they’d be nice people in real life, usually are.

I didn’t say it was a RADICAL or SURPRISING rule did I? It does work though, which is more than can be said for me at this point, so I gracefully fell over, tried to put my coat on, hugged anybody too slow to get away from me, and wandered off for the train. It had been a GOOD day.

February 21, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Blue Badge Of Courage

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 4:44 pm

10 Mar 2006 


PXPL & The Blue Badge Of Courage
Current mood:
Category: A little lost & found
Writing and Poetry 

Hello there you little spaff monkeys, 

Sometimes it’s not about the glamour… or the squalor, sometimes it’s all about the mundanity. 

This isnt a dig against disability (That would be hypocritical… I have a diseased toe)… this is an observation of human behaviour. 

This is…. 

PhoeniX PhiL & The Blue Badge Of Courage  

I love a bit of Public Transport but hate… nay, DESPISE rush hour.  

Oh! the rush hour ….with all it’s hustle and bustle, germ spreading, tannoy excuses and people tutting. However my Monday to Friday routine dictates that I take part. Stoopid day job… I’m an ideas man but it doesnt pay the rent. 

Still as David Essex once sang, “Every cloud has a silver line-ing…” and sometimes commuting can produce some truly life defining moments. One of which happened the other week… 

As some of my keener stalkers will know , my route to work is Tooting Broadway to London Bridge via the Northern Line. So as i hustled and bustled on to the already crammed tube I sparked up the old diskman. On this paticular day I was listening to Ooberman’s great lost “dark second” album “Hey Petrunko” (3rd March 2003 / Rotodisc / ROTOCD004). For those young enough not to have “lived” through the bleak post Brit-Pop War years, Ooberman got famous when Graham Coxon discovered and signed them and they realeased the “Shorley Walls Ep” which became infamous for the bit at the end of the title track where keyboardist Sophia Churney reads a poem and bursts into tears… see the girl in the song can’t choose between going to university or staying in her home town with her boyfriend. So she “tips the velvet” with a mermaid. or something. 

So, with Ooberman’s “Running Girl” blasting through my headphones, I hustled and (by jingo) I bustled into a tiny standing space by the chair reserved for those with disabilities. The disabled chair was already taken by a stocky gentleman with a ruddy complexion and a bomber jacket, on his left foot was one of the those surgical shoes…. you know the type… big made from grey burlap with huge straight jacket type straps accross the top. He had his left leg slightly stretched out and was monitoring and moving his leg to avoid any possible contact with his fellow commuters. It was evident that “Bomber Burlap” (as i call him) was in serious pain. 

When the tube reached Balham a vast number of people piled on to the tube. At the tail end of this mob was a sturdy yet short gentleman in his mid to late forties. He was wearing a dirty cream jacket (you know the sort… “day centre beige”) and had semi grey hair… his was kinda like a cross between Ernie Wise and Keith off  East Enders. So anyhow “Ernie Beige” (as i like to call him) started to barge through the people on the tube. 

 Ernie Beige then lifted a walking crutch high in to air and gently pierced it through the huddled mass of commuters’ shoulders. He then then squinted his eyes, glared directly down the long shaft of his crutch at Bomber Burlap sitting in the disabled seat and with great force and arrogance prodded Bomber Burlap in the shoulder…. 

Ernie Beige: “Oi mate…” (motioning to his crutch), “you’re in the disabled seat.. .”
Bomber Burlap: “Yeah I know…” (Bomber motions to his injured foot) “I’ve just had an operation mate… I literarly can’t put pressure on my foot for long periods of time”

Ernie: “….. but… I sit there every day… I was born with a disability.”  

At this point Bomber Burlap ignored him and went back to his Metro newspaper… Ernie Beige spent the rest of the journey desperetely trying to catch peoples eyes, when he didmanage to do so he’d shake his head and mutter “disgusting”, finally ending the display with a sour nod in the direction of  Bomber Burlap. 

I think the commuters took Bomber Burlap’s side because he was there first    …and also (if they were honest with themselves) because he didn’t smell of wee like Ernie did, but still…. 

…it got me thinking, how would you decide who should rightfully have the seat?  

is there such a thing as “Cripple Trumps” ?…

“wheelchair bound” scores more points that “false arm”  

…. maybe?  

“deaf” vs. “blind” is a no score draw  

…. perhaps?  

“manky hand” beats “weathered penis”  

…. hmmm, reminds me of last night… well, to be honest every night.  

I’ll never marry.  


(PhoeniX PhiL then turns and looks into the camera breaking the fourth wall with a devilish verve, “Yeah… yeah… i know it’s weak to end on an innuendo.. but you know you would have disapointed if I hadn’t stuck it in at the end”   


My Exciting Life In ROCK: 23/9/2000 - Roundhay Park, Leeds

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 1:36 pm

I have a shocking confession to make. In the weeks before Tim, our drummer, got married, I was having SECRET RENDEZVOUS with his fiancée, Emma. Without his knowledge we would secretly meet - AT MY FLAT! - and go about our COVERT business. Only AFTER they were married did we DARE reveal our secret… read on, for THE SHOCKING TRUTH!

Tim and Emma’s actual WEDDING DAY was like one of those big Rom Com movies where there’s all sorts of TRIALS and MISHAPS that make it look like the day will be DESTROYED and only TRUE LOVE (also a road trip, a number of humorous incidents, several misunderstandings and a COMEDIC CANINE) will get us all through. For one thing it was happening right in the middle of the Petrol Strike, so everyone was in a PANIC about if they’d have enough fuel to get there. Even worse, it was right at the end of the first series of Big Brother. It may seem STRANGE these days, when no right thinking person would even read the LISTINGS for such a ghastly programme which has become the preserve only of Heat readers and teenagers too dull to even be Emo, but when the FIRST series was on it was an INCREDIBLY Exciting New Thing.

Thus when we met in the pub the night before the wedding itself everyone was very PAINFULLY AWARE that the final episode of the whole series was on at 10pm. By 9.30pm everyone suddenly got VERY SLEEPY and needed to go to bed - the bride and groom had LEFT by this time, apparently to “finish getting ready”, ACTUALLY to see who came third. I RAN back to my B&B just in time to see Craig telling that little girl he was going to give her all his money. I am not afraid to admit I CRIED, and even his terrible single cannot take that precious memory away from me.

The wedding itself was a LOVELY do, with all the BLUBBING you could ask for and a TRIUMPHANT walk out of the church to the end theme from Star Wars. All around the building Aunties said “What is this charming piece of Classical Music?” whilst Men Of A Certain Age had to be RESTRAINED from doing WOOKIE impersonations.

The reception was ACE too - for the past six months Tim and Emma had been going round CLAIMING to be making a Millennium Album of all their pals, and so were taking photographs of everyone. At the time this seemed perfectly reasonable, although putting the word “Millennium” in front of ANYTHING sounded reasonable at that time - bugs, domes, FALCONS, people were MAD for it, though now we’re IN the 21st Century it doesn’t seem quite as glamorous as forecast. Anyway, it turned out they ACTUALLY had the photographs for place settings, it was all LIKE THAT - well organised and with TOUCHES.

The big moment, however, came during the speeches. After The Men had finished there was an OPTION for Emma to do one - we all waited tentatively for the SECRET SIGNAL that would say whether she was UNAFEARED enough, and when it was received I LEAPT up and ran to the back of the room, to get a GUITAR.

For LO! Emma and I’s secret meetings had been to write a SONG - nobody was even vaguely persuaded it might have been something RUDE, were they? She’d recently been to a friend’s wedding where the GROOM had stood up and sung a song instead of doing a speech, and thought she’d like to do the same thing. After a gig one night she’d told me about the PLAN and given me some words she had written about TIM, which I was to set to music.

When I’d done this I had to make a DEMO of it for her, so she could learn it. Put like that it doesn’t sound so bad, but what it MEANS is that somewhere out there is a tape of me singing about HOW MUCH I REALLY LOVE TIM AND WANT TO MARRY HIM. If you ever wonder why I am so POLITE and RESPECTFUL towards the Pattisons, that is why: BLACKMAIL.

Emma learnt the song and we decided we should have a practice together and record a version with HER singing, so we could send it to the bridesmaids who were going to do backing vocals. I had no idea what her singing voice was like, so was suitably impressed when she turned up and was GRATE. I’d got my four-track set up so we could record her and, mindful that she’d never done anything like this before, was FULL of Calming Guidance. “Just try singing into this, it is a MIC-RO-PHONE, put these HEAR-O-PADS over your ears so you can LIS-TEN, and don’t worry if it’s all too frightening and scary, we can take as long as you like.”

I even left the room so as not to put her off. When I heard she’d finished I went back in. “Yeah”, said Emma, “sounds good in the cans - let’s TRACK IT.”

THUS, come the day, we were fully prepared… although nobody else was. I strode to the front with my guitar where I stood behind Emma and the bridesmaids. People looked alarmed - especially those who’d heard me singing before - thinking it was ME who was about to launch into song, but as soon as Emma started the room was CHARMED. It was a lovely song called “Dinky Doo” about all the things she liked about Tim (including his insistence on listening to a local radio DJ whose catchphrase was “Dinky Doo”, hence the title) and my dears there was not a DRY EYE in the house. HUGE GEORDIE BLURKS, of which there were many, GREETED like BAIRNS, and the Bridesmaids Chorus got a HUGE round of applause.

Afterwards it was JUST like any other gig - lots of free food and drink, dancing, talking to GURLS - except that, for a change, it was a gig that I’D played at!

February 19, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 19/7/2000 - Cable Radio, Brighton

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 12:40 pm

When I was a younger man I had a rather DELICIOUS problem: how to use up my annual leave? In those days, when I was EXTREMELY single, I never went on proper holidays as I was too scared to go on a normal holiday on my own, and FAR too scared to go on an 18-30 or something, so ended up having a lot of time off in September when our Annual Leave year ended. In 2000 I decided to take preventative measures and have myself a whole week off in July, when it would at least be sunny, to undertake some actions of ROCK.

I had a LOVELY time - some days I’d simply get up late and do some recording before wandering off to the pub, other days I’d go out and DO things, and this was one of them. The plan was to get an early-ish train down to London, potter around in some GALLERIES (yes, POTTERING in GALLERIES - that’s the sort of incredibly sophisticated things I DO) for five or ten minutes, pop to the pub for a couple of sophisticated lunchtime BEERS, a few more sophisticated BEERS, maybe another, and then ZAP down to Brighton to dip my toes in the sea before doing a radio session. A DELIGHTFUL plan.

Things went awry from an early stage - I blame this almost entirely on the iniquity of the British Rail Service and only partly on the fact I stayed in bed for too long and ended up watching daytime telly. Still, I got to London around lunchtime and BRAVELY sacrificed my trip to the GALLERIES (it HURT my dears, but it had to be done) and downgraded lunch to two pints. BRAVE.

Even THIS severely curtailed booze-up was prevented by TERRORISTS - I think it might even have been the IRA, but surely that was about 200 years ago? It was definitely homegrown terrorists anyway, as this was a long time before 9/11 - is it me, or does anyone else get a warmly nostalgic GLOW thinking about the Irish Terrorists, of either hue? Oh, those balaclavas! So retro! Anyway, it was all going off because it was The Queen Mother’s Birthday Parade - ooh, it’s like a historical theme park isn’t it? Queen Mothers, the IRA, look, here comes TV’s Noel Gallagher drinking an Alcopop! - so most of the tube network had been shut down by threats and fears of same and I ended up TRUDGING across town to get to London Bridge station. Here I had to wait on the platform for 45 minutes as train after train came by that was TOO PACKED for me to even get on. We’re not talking about a simple lack of seating here, it was a WALL of HUMAN FLESH, RAMMED in so tightly you could hear fat OOZING out of the sides of the doors. When I DID get aboard I had to stand at a funny angle for the whole journey (FEEL MY PAIN), which took TWO HOURS longer than usual.

When I FINALLY emerged with a cricked neck, wonky knee and intimate knowledge of the man next door’s armpit I had to abandon toe-dipping and LEAP into a taxi to get over to the studio. As with nearly all of the radio stations prepared to let me onto their airwaves it wasn’t really a MAJOR outlet for news and views, but at least this one had an actual radio transmitter and broadcast further than the end of the corridor. It was still very much a “community” station - I’ve don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who actually LISTENS to Community Radio, but the people who DO it are always lovely, which was very much the case this time. Me and Melita, who ran the show, had an HILARIOUS half hour of chat and singing before I had to LEAP into another taxi to DASH back for the last train home. As we headed North I remember thinking how pleased I was with the cutting wit of humorous discourse and high level discussion we’d indulged in.

Imagine my disappointment, then, when I got home to listen to the tape of the evening and found out that someone had replaced ALL my waspish satire and devastating critical statements with ONE OF THE WURZELS! Where there SHOULD have been delicious chit chat of the most exquisite taste there was some berk saying “OI BE IN A BAND I BE! HUR HUR HUR! SEE MOI TRACTOR!”

Why does that KEEP happening?!?

February 15, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Pillow Talk of Mr. Mongford

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 5:47 pm

07 Jun 2006

PXPL & The Pillow Talk Of Mr. Mongford
Current mood: accomplished

Hello my gorgeous ones…

This is PhiL talking… IN AUSTRALIA. Imagine that!

Anyhow… this is the first of my Australian Adventures. This is….

PhoeniX PhiL & The Pillow Talk of Mr. Mongford

I wish i could jet about more however being a boy of humble financial origins and with very little disposable time it is with great regret that I inform you loyal readers that the last time i boarded a plane was May 1992. my father had booked a cheap holiday to LA following the Rhodney King riots… this however is another story for another time.

I’ve never been nervous about flying however something inside me was screaming out that the plane would crash. I accepted the process of aging and death back in 2002 …I would however like to age before I die though. I suppose dying in plane crash is one of the cooler ways to die (i.e. Buddy Holly or Randy Rhodes)… it’s better than assination or suicide. I will NEVER kill myself…. if i die and someone says it’s suicide, it will be a LIE.. I will have been murdered for the PhoeniX Phortunes.

I decided to stay up all night the evening before the flight so i could drift off in a yummy sleepy and wake up either in Australia or as a ghost.

The problem being is that I was sat next to a gentleman called Mr Mongford.

I knew his name was Mr mongford because he was a vegetarian and they’d call his name as they brought around the “special meals”. Slightly off topic …. even as a meat eating bad boy of twee i find it DISGRACEFUL that they call them “special meals”… christ on a bike.. it’s like they’re trapped in the 1950’s. or something.

Mr Mongford had requested the window seat. i had requested the aisle seat. The seat between us was free. As soon as i sat down he started chatting to me… now you can call me rude but I see little point in making conversation with people for the sake of it… be it hairdressers, taxi drivers or strangers on a plane… you’ll never see these people again.. whats the point of justifying and explaining yourself to them… naturally if it was sexy girl or someone important I’d change this theory.. BUT it never is.

So i sat down and Mr Mongford started quizing me about why i was going to to Austalia? I put my foot in it almost immediately…

PXPL: “Oh my friend… this boy i used to live with.. (Mr mongford’s eyes lit up) well he moved there.. um well when i say lived with… we had seperate rooms … anyhow he’s getting married and um..”

Mr mongford gave a knowing nod and i decided to give him the book off by burying my head in the rubbish in flight magazine. “Please bring the earphones… PLEASE BRING THE EARPHONES NOW!” i thought to myself.

Mr. Mongford lent across the middle spare seat and gently yet firmly jabbed me in arm (right in the middle of the Mod target on my jacket sleeve), “So did you ask for an aisle seat?” “Oh yes”, i repled, ” I wouldnt want to feel boxed in… plus I dont want to be one of those annoying people that asks for a window seat and then has to keep asking the other to move everytime i want the toilet”. Mr Mongford looked visably hurt by this statement probably because the man went for a pee every 30 minutes of so… and if he wasnt going to the toilet he was playing about with his luggage. I’m not kidding on that flight i learned that middle aged people are worse than toddlers… fussing over food, shuffling around, just plain whinging..”Stewardess! Stewardess!” they’d cry. Pathetic.

Anyhow luckily after spending the past few years getting very little sleep I found it very easy to doze off on the plane… still Mr Mongford did do the “lean across and jab” for these important annnouncements…

“Look! Look! we’re taking off”

“I’ve figured out how to get the films up”

“When you get to Melbourne make sure that you watch some Aussie Rules football.. it’s very fast… very exciting”

(i look up after the jab and mr. mongford is already back in his chair.. throwing is head back in hysterical laughter while rubbing his hands together)”Aha-haha You should watch this… Kath & Kim it’s hilarious.. ha ha ha ha” (he is laughing at the opening credits).

“Do you how much they tried to charge me in Hong Kong for a digital camera?”

“I think you’ll like Melbourne… it’s very young… it’s very fresh. You should go to… (Mr mongford lists several places all of which i forgot as soon as he said them)

(I look up after the jab and see the contents of a rather old mobile phone scattered all over the spare seat) ” Do you know how to get the sim card out, mate?”

“ah ha ha I didnt think that i like scrambled egg… but it turns out that i do… still that’s what travel is all about.. trying new things”

“Look! Look! we’re landing”

Luckily I lost him when I had trouble at customs but that’s a different story for a different time.

February 14, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 1/7/2000 - The Jug Of Ale, Birmingham

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 1:46 pm

In my early years in ROCK I would very rarely meet ANYBODY who thought my stuff was any good (possibly because it wasn’t) but I spent those fallow years observing bands who DID have “fans”, and how they reacted to it. The BEST example of this, as with so other aspects of life, was Mr John Otway, who was always POLITENESS PERSONIFIED. The very first time I saw him he chatted with me and my friends for ages, full of stories, not at all show-offy, and generally LOVELY. When I asked him why he was stood around with us rather than in the backstage area where, surely, Pop Stars were SUPPOSED to be, he gave me the BEST piece of advice I have EVER had in my ENTIRE LIFE: “If I went and sat back there I’d be all on my own, feeling miserable. If I stand out here people tell me I’m brilliant and buy me beer.”

I have LIVED by that maxim ever since. At the other end of the spectrum, I’ve occasionally seen bands who SNIGGER when Lesser Beings approach them, and openly DERIDE them once they’ve been dismissed from their presence. Apart from being RUDE (and hey! being ROCK is about being ROCK, not RUDE - I prescribe a DVD of “School Of Rock” for anyone who needs TEACHING) it’s also STUPID. It can take a LOT for some people to pluck up courage to talk to someone they a) like b) admire [CF me seeing Alan Moore in a comic shop the other week: TOO TERRIFIED TO MOVE], and if you’re horrible to them they not only won’t do it again, they’ll more than likely tell other people what an arsehole you are. Luckily for me nearly all the people who like my stuff have been DEAD NICE so have made it EASY and indeed a PLEASURE to be in their company, but it has not always been so.

For LO! this gig saw another appearance by MAGNUS, the young lad who kept turning up at a gigs and buying my cassettes. OK, he was a little quiet, a little difficult to talk to, and DID tend to sit nearby LOOKING at me before the gig actually happened, but hey! We all have our little ways, right?

This time he came and joined me and some pals at a table outside the pub for his Sitting Nearby And LOOKING and seemed fairly normal. One of these PALS was Mr Mark Guest, a friend from SCHOOL long ago who now lived nearby. I went to put him on the guestlist and had a Four Candles/Fork Handles MOMENT, as the top of the page said “Mark - Guest.” and I had to get them to write “Mark Guest” underneath it. I thought this was AMAZING though he seemed less impressed. Apparently it wasn’t the first time.

It was a good line-up for the night. After my Politely Endured opened set LEGENDARY Brum band The Regulars played, and as I watched their lead singer cavort about the stage in an indie-rock fashion I had no way of knowing quite how OFTEN our paths would cross in future, for LO! (again) that young loon would one day grow up to be Indie Troubadour Mr Pete Green, with whom MANY acts of ROCK would be perpetrated a few years later.

ALSO on the bill were Saloon, noted Festive Fifty victors and, at that time, LABEL MATES with me. We’d put out their first single but then we seemed to have a bit of a falling out with them. Even now I’m entirely sure why - I THINK they might have thought we was ripping them off CA$H wise, as at the time there was a LOONIE going round telling people this is what we were doing (and he was a proper loonie too i.e. THE POLICE got involved later), although I cannot rule out the possibility that I may have SAID something improper.

Anyway, at this time all was WELL so off we all went to a PARTY. It was a SWINGING time, there was BEER and… well, that was all that was required to make it a slightly dishevelled Hibbett who found himself in Birmingham New Street Station next day. Every time I visit New Street they seem to have thought up some new AWFULNESS - each time I think “SURELY this horrible, horrible place cannot get any worse” and yet each time it does. There are worse looking, worse smelling and/or more grumpily staffed stations in the country - Harlow New Town springs to mind for the latter - but you’ll never find one that scores as highly in all three categories, and certainly not another that is one of the country’s major transport hubs. Truly, it is a BLIGHT on all that is good and delightful about our nation. For instance, THIS time I discovered that, because trains are SO unreliable on a Sunday, and because there were ALWAYS alterations/cancellations/buses at the weekends, the BRAINS TRUST that ran the station had decided not to put up timetables for Sunday i.e. NONE AT ALL. They’d just GIVEN UP on the whole idea of even BOTHERING. Of course, being New Street there was no signage to this effect, and I had to queue up for fifteen minutes to have this information SPAT at me by someone behind a thick glass screen who obviously shared Margaret Thatcher’s views on public transport users i.e. DISGUST.

It took about four hours but EVENTUALLY I got home where I had to wait a whole day to get on the email - having the internet at home in those days was a) a wild luxury and b) fairly pointless. If I had nothing better to do at HOME I could watch TV, rather than read the three or four internet pages that existed then, so why bother? When I DID get in, however, I found an email waiting for me from Magnus. He said he’d enjoyed my set and also The Regulars, but went on to say something that is BURNED INTO MY MEMORY. Readers of a more delicate disposition may wish to look away, as this isn’t going to be pleasant. OK? Right then, he said “One of the last band must have been giving the management blow jobs to get that gig. It would have to be one of the men - fucking any of the women would be like fucking slabs of dead meat.”

It burnt the HAIR off my EYEBROWS just to look at it! He seemed so quiet and inoffensive and yet… WHAT? Meat? WHAT? Once I’d had a stiff cup of tea and a calming cigarette (DARK DAYS) I sat, gob smacked, before my computer, wondering how on earth I could reply to THAT. In the end I decided that DELETING it would probably be the best bet, followed by a schedule of IGNORING IT COMPLETELY, in the hope that, somehow, this would mean it would never have happened. For once this traditional British DEALING WITH THINGS policy actually WORKED (apart from the inability to ever forget the words themselves) - I would see Magnus again at another gig a few months later, but he never sent me anything so SCARIFYING ever again. Nor, in fact, did anyone else.

February 13, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Art Of Being Dumped

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 10:06 am

11 Apr 2005

PXPL & The Art Of Being Dumped
Current mood: anxious


Here’s a bit of “old skool” PXPL reprinted for y’all.


PhoeniX PhiL & The Art Of Being Dumped

Now if you’re like me you’ll find that you get dumped quite a lot…

Not necessarily the “out of the blue, we’ve been going out two years but the DNA test shows we’re cousins” that we all experience in our twenties at some point but generally dumped..

Wether it be someone you’ve pulled in a dingey club who at time begs to meet up with you again but when you do they look disappointed and bleat on about how they aren’t over their ex…

Or someone who forced you to marry them because they didn’t believe you loved them - then two years later they run off with someone else because they now find you too clingy….

No matter the back story it always ends the same way..

Now then, being the dumpee is no fun. Firstly, you get no sympathy - not really, all your friends (and believe me they are the worse) f*cking love it - you are now the butt of all jokes, the laughing stock for the month. The tragic loser that makes everyone else feel much better about themselves. The Violet Pets have often spoke about “The Theory Of The Pathetic Boyfriend” - being dumped is the final humiliation especially if another man is involved. If it’s another woman and you live in a small town I advise you leave - you’re as good as branded “a gay” for not being able to satisfy a woman. If a woman is dumped by a man for another man she strangely doesn’t get this abuse.

I’d like to think that if a girl is dumped that her friends are more supportive but for men it’s definetly a case of “what a loser”.

The other downside of being the dumpee is that you have to explain to everysingle person you meet and know that:

1) You got dumped (Even when they know, people pretend that they don’t so you have to go over it from square one)

2) Why you got dumped (in great detail & no matter what you tell them it’s never enough)

and 3) that no I didnt know that they had done (insert the names of various tossers and “dirty acts”) behind my back and said (insert several bitter and pointless quotes) about me when i wasnt there.

You expect this conversation to take place at parties for anything up to the next three years.

Ultimately, the worse thing about being dumped, is that you will never get to feel the closeness that you once felt with someone you cared about …heck maybe, truly loved EVER again.


There is an actual way to enjoy being dumped.

Yes you heard me right! there is a way to enjoy it.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I think I’ve come to terms with a lot of my rejection issues. The main thing that I can’t past is the guilt.

Strangely despite being the victim in the dumping - the main thing that drags you down is the guilt. It may not seem like it but after being dumped you tend to blame yourself (am I too ugly? am i not understanding enough? is it because my lifes going nowhere? …is it because i can only manage one erection a night?)

And after a lot of thinking I know where this guilt comes from…

…it comes from the RIDICULOUS faces your “soon to be ex” pulls when they are ditching you. Those stupid, simpering - “I’m not a bad person honestly” faces that they love to pull.

Lets be honest if you are breaking up with someone -you’re happy about it (otherwise why break up?). The dumper should be dancing for joy amd should be singing “Oh Happy Day”. Nobody pulls a simpering face when they leave a job they hate, do they?

So next time you’se getting ditched and the bastard / whore pulls the simpering face just laugh at them and walk away.


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