Digest...

February 13, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Confusion Of Retail

Filed under: Uncategorized, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 10:04 am

08 Apr 2006

PXPL & The Confusion of Retail
Current mood: intimidated
Category: a little lost and found Writing and Poetry

 

Just a quickie…

 

PhoeniX PhiL & The Confusion Of Retail

 

isnt it strange how in the high street…

That Oasis sells ladies boots but not bottles of Oasis fruit drink

HOWEVER….

 Boots do sell bottles of Oasis fruit drink but they don’t sell ladies boots…

 

Everyday hurts me… i’m off to go cuddle a pillow.

February 12, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 13/6/00 - CCAD Radio, Middlesbrough

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 1:19 pm

This was another one of my PUNK ROCK trips to distant radio stations, though not ALL of them were quite as much of a trek as this one. The week before I’d been to see Tim Eames (DJ Of Your Dreams) in Bradford, a lovely chap who told me The Terrible Truth about Commercial Radio Franchises: all the have to do is insert a Local Place Name into the talky bits twice an hour (”Hey! Here’s a track from REO Speedwagon that reminds me of a steamy night in INSERT SUBURB!”) and then everything else is beamed from a CENTRAL BUNKER. It also explains why the JINGLES sound the same wherever you go.

Anyway, Bradford was only an hour or so on the train, but Middlesbrough is CONSIDERABLY further - I don’t think I’d ever even BEEN that far North before without overshooting and ending up in Scotland, so I was quite excited to be going there. I was ALSO excited because I’d built up something of a DEMENTED FANTASY about the session in my MIND. It was a Student Radio station and I’d somehow got the idea that it was going to be GLAMOROUS, also BOHEMIAN. On the long train journey I picture bean bags, throw rugs, joss sticks and FABNESS. “Oh yes”, I’d say to a bevy of eyelash fluttering beauties, toking sophisticatatedly on a marijuana doobie spliff, “I certainly CAN explain the dialectical cycle of history to you. But perhaps we’d be more comfortable… in the jacuzzi?”

Goodness knows why I thought that - I’d BEEN to student radio stations before and had indeed BEEN a student, during which I’d spent precious little time near SINKS, let alone jacuzzis. Still, I ROLLED out of the train station and leapt into a taxi with a Groovy Soundtrack in my head, ready for a good time.

It seemed to take an awfully long time to get there - surely the University would be in the hep centre of town? Eventually we arrived in a leafy suburb where I discovered to my horror that it WASN’T a University at all - it was a Sixth Form College.

I went in to reception where a very nice lady seemed pleased to see me. I’d like to think this was because of my natural warmth and charisma, but it was probably because I was the first adult she’d seen all day - as I was later to discover, it was towards the end of term so hardly anybody was in. She called her Very Attractive Daughter in, who smiled shyly and guided me upstairs. Very Attractive Daughters are the VERY FOUNDATION of ALL Rock Lunacy, SURELY this was a good sign?

The Very Attractive daughter led me to the student radio station, where I found the Traditional Contents of ALL student radio stations: two nervous, highly strung LADS with too much hair and too many records, GIGGLING to each other. It has EVER been thus - when the very FIRST radio station began, He Who Does Most Of The Talking spent DAYS arguing with his friend, He Who Pretends To Like Hip Hop, about what songs to play in order to get Very Attractive Daughter to listen in (there’s always a Very Attractive Daughter) before spend 50 of their 60 minutes on air telling jokes about what they had for tea last night.

These lads were no different, and we ended up having a VERY enjoyable time recording a LENGTHY interview in which they told jokes about what they’d had for tea and I told jokes about ME. Everybody was happy. Before that though we had to record some songs, with me sat out in the Common Room with Very Attractive Daughter (by the way, don’t get your hopes up, I’m only mentioning her a LOT because I so rarely get a chance to get GURLS into these stories. Can’t think why), BELLOWING. We played tracks between chunks of the live interview, during which I asked how far they broadcast. “Oh, we go across the whole campus - in the common room AND in the canteen.”

Their REACH was demonstrated by the on-air competition. All you had to do to win a HUGE bag full of CDs was to come and knock on the studio door. Nobody did.

They did reassure me that there were more outlets though - “We do a live television broadcast too!” they said. I asked where that got seen. “Did you see that wide screen television in the lobby?” they asked me. “THERE.”

With everything finished it was time for me to dash off and get my pre-booked taxi back for the last train home. I said goodbye to the giggly lads and was then led back to reception by Very Attractive Daughter and her MOTHER, who’d decided that as nothing else was happening she’d better come and act as chaperone. After all, her daughter was in the company of a dangerous rock star (me). Who knew WHAT would happen?

Well exactly - I’m sure it was ONLY the presence of Protective Mother that prevented it - if SHE hadn’t turned up we might have actually SPOKE to each other! OH YEAH! As it was I plonked myself into the taxi and was soon back on the train, with PLENTY of time to adjust my ideas about the relative DECADENCE of Student Radio Stations.

February 11, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Foxes Of Love

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 11:23 am

27 Apr 2005

PXPL & The Foxes Of Love
Current mood: drunk
Category: A Little Lost & Found Writing and Poetry

 

As requested  I will be reprint some of my old “hits” from the Panic! board. Here’s one you might know…..

PhoeniX PhiL & The Foxes Of Love

So after staying at Panic UNTIL… THE.. VERY END I drunkenly walked in to the night with the very sobering realisation that I had to be in work at 8.00. So I ran to the nearest bus stop and waited…. then waited some more… and some more again…. then walked to another bus stop and waited some more… then totally gave up at about 5.20 and decided to walk home.

The road home was long, cold and cruel and with every step I’d take, a deep sense of regret and bitterness flooded my body. I was reminded of every mistake I’d made and self indulgently questioned if I had been powerless to stop each of them. At the height of my drunk soul searching - as I briskly walked on the stretch of road that links Elephant & Castle to Kennington - I saw a sleek, grey pelted gentleman fox darting from garden to garden like an acrobat looking for food. Like an excited child I chased after the fox but I couldn’t keep a pace to match but just as I felt like collapsing in a duffle coated heap on the floor and female foxette leapt from one of the gardens and joined the Gentleman fox on his adventures.

The two foxes bounded and flew through front gardens. It was a splendid display. It was like those glorious old Spidey comics where he & the Black Cat had a “will they? won’t they?” situation going on and they’d fly around the New York City skyline together all in love and exuberant.

After a while i caught up with them and they were circling each other in the road. The tension between them could have powered a building. After a minute or two the female fox dropped to floor and curled up - the male fox circled her and they started nudging each others noses. The male fox then nestled up to the female fox. The magic of the moonlight had won and tonight was to be a night of love in it’s purest sense. BUT THEN.. a bus sped towards them and the two foxes darted off in separate directions. The hate monger driver of the bus found this hilarious and even sounded an arrogant sequence of beeps from his horn.

The gentleman fox ran to other side of the road and disappeared. The female fox ran to the side of the road that I was standing on and for several minutes just stood there.. looking misty eyed at the road where her moment nearly came.

I then walked back to The Violet Pad with a renewed sadness in my heart.

Morale of the story: Never shag in the road. The odds are against you.

PhoeniX PhiL & The Tooting Lovers

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 11:19 am

12 Nov 2005

PXPL & The Tooting Lovers
Current mood: amused
Category: a little lost and found Writing and Poetry

 

Ah, love is a many splendered thing… or something. I dunno …it’s not like the movies is it? Sometimes it almost is… but the credits never roll in the right place, life goes on and it leaves too much time for “mis-haps” and “pickles”. Anyhow, maybe this how Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant would have ended up if the credits hadn’t kicked in during the snogging in the rain bit of “4 Weddings..”

This is…

PhoeniX PhiL & The Tooting Lovers

A few weeks ago while leaving the ‘net cafe (i have no computer or phone line. lament) i was walking thru Tooting broadway on my way home when i saw a chunky tramp full of wild grey hair and whisker chopped of the face chatting to a chunky “weathered” looking woman.

As i strolled closer, i could sense a lovers argument had just occured and this was the frail voiced, teary eyed conclusion to the conversation.

I walked past and heard the Whiskerbiscuit man whimper, “Please… please Rose just lemme f*ck you… just lemme f*ck you”.

At which point the Weathered Woman threw her head back and with tears in her eyes croaked, “No John… You won’t use a condom”.

Oh well, i guess you had to be there really

February 7, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 11/5/00 - The Princess Charlotte, Leicester

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 11:53 am

This was our THIRD time supporting Half Man Half Biscuit, having played with them again in Derby a couple of weeks beforehand. That gig hadn’t been particularly auspicious, as the few HMHB fans who’d stayed more than five minutes had not so much WATCHED as LOOKED, declining any offers to clap in case it encouraged us to go on any longer.

This had been Ollie’s final gig which, if not exactly a triumphant ending, was at least consistent with most of the other gigs he’d played with us. Still, it did give him one final chance to sit AGOG at the feet of Tim, listening to his stories of Jamming With Thurston Moore. Having finished his work placement with us Ollie continued to play in plenty of other bands, so hopefully these tales of possible career advancement made up for the, to be honest, somewhat depressing training and vocational experience which he’d received during his time with us.

As we were now down to a four piece we decided to embark upon a REVOLUTIONARY SCHEME. We called it “practicing”. It may sound KRAZY but I am resolute that, if done at reasonable intervals, actually PRACTICING your songs before playing them in front of people can be harmless and, indeed, occasionally beneficial. I think that the PRACTICE of practicing gets a bad name because of the sort of bands who DO it all the time - you know the type, EITHER the sort of band who uses “tight” as a recommendation in their press release and learn their PATTER off by heart OR those STERNLY BESPECTACLED post-rock bands who play once a year but practice EVERY WEEK and CRY when they TIMBRE of the venue PA is insufficiently CRISP. They are the Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty of PRACTICE, giving it a BUM RAP for us recreational users.

During these practices (PLURAL! Yes, we practiced twice, but we can handle it, we could stop practicing any time we want to. And frequently do) we came up with a GRATE idea to get SOME kind of response from the HMHB fans - a cover version! There was some debate about where to place this in the set - if we did it at the start and they HATED it we might get BOTTLED OFF before we’d got past our first song, but if we did it at the end and they LOVED it then we’d have played the rest of the set in silence for nothing. As a compromise we played our version of “Quality Janitor” (from the GRATEST of Half Man Half Biscuit album’s MANY excellent albums, “This Leaden Pall” - if you’ve not got it, DO) halfway through the set, and were pleased to find the SILENCE broken by some people saying “Oh!” There was even some APPLAUSE at the end - SUCCESS!

We did have ONE person there specifically to see us - MAGNUS, our Weird Fan. He was the only person who ever asked ME if he could buy one of my cassettes, rather than me having to FOIST it on him, and he came to several of our gigs. He was quite young and looked like an immaculately trousered version of a young Douglas Hurd. Every time I saw him he’d be on his own - “No friends with you tonight Magnus?” I’d ask, and he say they were all busy. A few gigs later I would discover THE TRUTH.

We got our BEERS in and settled down for Half Man Half Biscuit who, as ever, were BRILLIANT. After a RIOTOUS set, where it felt like the whole ROOM was jumping up and down, I went over to Andy, the owner of The Charlotte. He’d promised to pay us if enough people turned up and as the room had been RAMMED I was expecting a bit of cash. “Sorry lads”, he said, “We didn’t get enough people in.” I was STUNNED. “But… but it was PACKED with people!” “Yes,” he replied, “That’s because they were all really fat.”

You can’t argue with logic like that can you? Impressed with his tactics I gracefully withdrew.

Later on Tim and I were stood outside doing our traditional post gig post mortem when Mr Nigel Blackwell, lead singer and general HERO, emerged. “Hello lads!” he said, and we GAWPED. At the last gig I’d given him a copy of our album and was AMAZED to find he’d not only listened to it, but had COMMENTS. “Stop Look And Listen”, he said, was his favourite, and I GRINNED with GLEE. The conversation moved on to lower league football grounds (he’d visited Peterborough United’s ground many times with Tranmere) but by then it had all gone a bit blurry for me, and when we parted it was all I could do not to SKIP home, such was my JOY - We didn’t get paid, nobody liked us and the beer had been horrible, but Nigel from Half Man Half Biscuit had listened to one of our songs… and LIKED it!

February 6, 2008

PhoeniX PhiL & The Great Accidental Granary Theft

Filed under: Uncategorized, editorial, PhoeniX Phil — pxpl @ 10:12 am

Hello my loyal Phil-o-philes, some of you may remember my “Misadventures Of PhoeniX PhiL” blogs on Myspace. I haven’t done any since the end of 2006 but i’m about to launch “the second series” (so to speak). With that in mind I will re-printing “episodes from the first series” (so to speak) almost daily on here.

 

Shall we begin….

 

01 Feb 2006

PXPL & The Great Accidental Granary Theft
Current mood: guilty

 

Ah.. welcome once again my friends to the show that never ends. Todays tale is one of accidental naughtiness. Let them eat cake… let them steal bread. This is…..

PhoeniX PhiL & The Great Accidental Granary Theft

I’m not a complicated person and I tend to have the same thing for lunch every day (albeit for a couple of months before I have a change). At the moment my lunch time regime involves me walking to the Tesco Metro in Cheapside and purchasing two plain bread rolls, a packet of Monster Munch maize based snacks and a packet of Smarties (with the stoopid new packaging… but I’ll save my anger on that “re-invention” for another time).

I then stroll around in my duffle coat listening to my diskman eating my lovely lunch, then i make a quick stop at the newsagent for a can of fizzy pop (usually Dr. Pepper.. although increasingly it’s Cherry Coke) and then go back to work.

While in Tesco Metro I always avoid using the baskets. They always have manky stuff like spilt coleslaw or baby’s dribble in them. Plus i always end up making a right mess of seperating a basket from the pile right in front of the burley security guard who always looks at me with a brutish smirk anyhow - like his internal monologue is mocking me in a cruel yet hilarious fashion. He’s just waiting for me to knock all the baskets over… well “not my watch, soldier”, I choose to carry my goods.

Carrying a couple of bread rolls, a packet of Monster munch and a tube of Smarties isnt fun but it is achievable (even with my tiny “Beadle” hands) however the other day i was tired.. oh so very tired and needed a can of Red Bull. The addition of the possibly harmful energy drink was just far too much for my tiny hands so I put the handles of the plastic bag containing my bread rolls around my wrist.

I entered the queue and pumped up the volume on my Discman. The sweet sounds of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah soundtracked my vacant daydream. There’s a bit of a backlash towards CYHSY but I don’t care - I love the album. Any music that begs the listener to skip down the road instead of stroke their chin is all good to me (although what the hell is going on with THAT opening track… it’s hilariously bad).

Anyhow, I paid my favourite grumpy till lady for my wears and strolled out to “Over and Over Again” past the burley security guard. The security guard looked a little humbled and taken a-back so as the “cumma cumma on” chorus kicked in I flashed him a wink and nod. I smiled myself a cheeky smile as I passed the automated doorways and skipped on down the Cheapside road…

THEN TRADEGY STRUCK….

I realised that the plastic bag with the bread rolls was still on my wrist. I had stolen the bread rolls by accident… I made like the end of “Midnight Express” and just kept walking at a brisk pace.

I couldn’t believe that I had chored the rolls. I’ve never shoplifted anything in my life. I still have nightmares about that time in Grange Hill where a Policeman shouted at Ronnie Birtles for stealing lipstick (EDIT - i’ve since remembered that Ronnie Birtles successfully stole the lipstick but actually got caught stealing a big baggy 80’s jumper).

“Oh no … the CCTV’s” I screamed inside a silent lament, “I’m going to prison”. I cant go to Prison.. I wouldn’t last. Stuck inside in a cell with a lifer called “Big Dez” who REALLY misses his wife? CHRIST!  it’s hurts enough when I do a big poo (note to self: must start to eat more All-Bran).

I spent the night fighting guilts and fears and decided i must right the wrongs.

The next day i went to Tesco and bought the usual articles. The lady who served me was a large lady with a Jamaican accent. The total cost of the goods came to 96 pence but I gave her a two pound coin and fled before she dished the change. The way that I see it 1.04 is enough not only to cover the cost of yesterdays accidental granary theft but also to make up for any commercial loss or emotional distress that my “crime” may have committed.

So I walked away knowing that I had righted my wrong HOWEVER the large Jamaican till lady noticed I had left without my change and started hollering, “EH! WHATTABOUT’CHA CHANGE!!!! YOU FORGOT YOUR CHANGE!!!!!!”

Just keep walking, I thought to myself, put Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on… “you look like david bowie…”

“YOU HAVE LEFT THE CHANGE!!!!” she continued to holler.

I started to get nervous and nearly walked in to the Security Guard.

“Oh mate!”, he said motioning me to take my earphones out, “you’ve left your change”.

I looked at the ground, I looked at the sky and sighed a nervous sigh and muttered “Um …yeah.. give to the um… charity box”

I then ran as fast as my weak legs could manage and the good looking people laughed at my camp sprint.

It put me right off my Smarties I can tell you.

Crime & punishment ahoy!

 

February 5, 2008

My Exciting Life In ROCK: 30/4/00 - The Eagle Radio, Bristol

Filed under: Uncategorized, mj hibbett — mjhibbett @ 12:24 pm

As part of the Big Promotional Push For The Album (Title Case makes it more EFFECTIVE) we hired a radio plugging company. PROFESSIONAL! The job of pluggers is to get your music onto radio, and they traditionally do this By Any Means Possible - blagging their way into studios, shoving records on unsuspecting DJs at parties or in pubs, and generally ANNOYING people into playing your songs.

Our pluggers didn’t do that sort of thing, as they were OLD PUNKS. I’d highly recommend dealing with Old Punks whenever you can, as they’re always honourable and decent, although they can be a little STERN at times if they think you’re being insufficiently PUNK. Also, they do have quite a LOT of stories about having FITES in 1978, which they will tell you and, if occurring in a pub, ACT OUT, which does get a bit scary. They may not lie their way into Broadcasting House and force Steve Wright to play your record, but if you’re the sort of person who WANTS that sort of thing, hire wankers instead.

Every week they’d send me a plugging report, showing who’d been playing the record, what they’d played, and what they thought of it. This was VERY good for the old ego as if people didn’t like it they didn’t say anything, and you tended to get the BEST stuff from the far-off tiny radio stations who were grateful to get ANYTHING. Nevis Radio, for instance, called it “a decent album with some live beats, clear vocals plus fine instrumentation and nifty rhythm guitar work.” TRIFFIC!

The STERN bit would always be at the end, where they’d say things like “This campaign would do even better if supported by the ability to play radio sessions” - local radio, like local newspapers, is always DESPERATE for news stories anyway, and the people who do the Local Music Shows are usually MANICALLY KEEN on having touring bands in for sessions. It always felt like this section of the report was FROWNING at me when I read it, as if to say that if local radio sessions were good enough for Jimmy Pursey, they were good enough for the likes of ME.

Suitably chastened, and aware that we didn’t have that many gigs booked, I told them that I’d travel ANYWHERE to play for anyone who’d have me. I was seeking Punk Validation, but the first thing I GOT was a FOUR HOUR train journey one Sunday from Leicester to Bristol. I was met by Mr Gary Smith, then of The Eagle, Bristol’s local commercial radio station. When commercial stations get their licence they usually feature a commitment to “local music”, and so are FORCED to let people like Gary have some air-time to be REALLY KEEN about gigs and The Local Scene. They usually put the shows on air on a Saturday night, when everybody who’d be interested is actually AT gigs, but still, it’s the Contractual Obligation Fulfilment that counts.

We sped off to the station’s offices where he sat me before a microphone to do three songs and have a LENGTHY chat. I’ve done a few of these with Gary since then and he is GRATE for having a Lengthy Chat with, although it’s WISE that he always pre-records them. As anyone who’s seen me live will know, I can GO ON a little bit. The BEST bit about the whole day, however, was doing IDENTS. These are GRATE - you know when people say “HI! I am That Bloke Off The Telly, and you’re listening to THE RADIO”? THEM! I could have sat and recorded them all day, but I only had an hour before we had to DASH back to the station to get me on the last train home.

Hi! This is MJ Hibbett, saying - eight hours travelling for one hour’s ROCKING? COMPLETELY worth it!

February 4, 2008

Aciiiid! (you had to have been there)

Filed under: editorial, mr solo — mrsolo @ 10:27 pm

Authorship

Okay so here goes. The more observant and analytically minded of you will have noticed how the momentum of my first post was the result of having read John Moore’s column in the Guardian weekend. You didn’t notice? His voice was practically dictating the words in my shell like. So today a mild wave of panic crashed over my recumbent mass as I realised I might have to write in my own voice today. My first foray into poetry was inspired by having seen Jerry Dammers deliver a speech about John Peel in rhyming form and so for a while I always imagined him dictating my poems. This is all going somewhere really.
They say singers find their voice by singing like someone else – David Bowie/Tony Newley, Neil Hannon/Scott walker, Pete Doherty/Tommy Steel etc and I say who wrote that? I believe that great art comes from lack of ego, which is a bit rich coming from a shameless self-promotionalist, but the point is whose voice is it anyway.
So as quantum mechanics would have it on Saturday I was performing a short set at a karaoke poetry night in Manor Park. This event called “Bingo Master’s Breakout” is organised by the legend that is Kevin Reinhardt as part of the Vintage Poison cooperative manifestations. I met a girl called Stephanie from a band called Futurism versus Passeism (is that right youngsters?) who was able to report as a blond red head that the song “Ginger” had had a positive affect on her school experience. She also talked about passing on the torch as if it (the power of pop to heal and unite?) was this thing outside of us all. The next day at church (!) folks were passing around a flame to light candles we each held. To be honest this silent ritual was the only part of going that spoke to me. All part of the reciprocal altruism vibe that’s currently flaoting my boat.
So the theme for today (snore) is holding and passing a flame that’s outside of us all each time we make art/love/sweet music. All three at once if you’re Jeff Koons.
Here are the edited highlights!

Bother you’ll have to copy and paste the link below…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q5E-z1dYQE

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