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Comics, Books, And Literary Science Fiction
when I finished my PhD earlier this year I suddenly had a bit more time available for doing FUN things, which caused me to sit myself down and ask "Yes, but what does that MEAN eh? What is it I actually WANT to do, just for fun?" The answer came back with surprising swiftness, and it was "Watch telly, read comics and read books please."

THUS I have dedicated some SPECIAL TIME to doing these things, and I must say that they are indeed a LOT of fun. I've especially enjoyed reading some comics again, and have been popping into Gosh every few weeks to buy Trade Paperbacks of various things I've been meaning to catch up on (e.g. I'm on about three quarters of the way through "Descender"/"Ascender" at the moment and it is jolly good) and also buying ACTUAL NEW ISSUES of "Miracleman" as they come out. It's ACE!

There have been similar THRILLS in the world of BOOKS, not least a couple of weeks ago when I finally finished off all of the books on my KINDLE. As I'm sure most people who have one of these devices will know, it is VERY tempting to buy loads of books you like the look of and then never get around to actually reading them, so with my new free time I decided to read THE LOT before buying ANYTHING new. This didn't quite work out as planned - it turns out that buying PHYSICAL books doesn't count, according to my BRANE - but I did get through them all eventually, and was delighted to discover that most (though not all) of the books I liked the look of were dead good!

Having done that the next logical step was, of course, to BUY LOADS MORE, and so that is exactly what I did. For the past few years I've always tried to read some of the books on the Arthur C Clarke Award shortlist, as it is a GRATE list of science fiction books which I wouldn't necessarily have known about otherwise. There have been some RIGHT crackers on this list in the past, and so far this year is much the same. For instance, last week I read Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro, which was FAB. It is very much a Literary Science Fiction book i.e. one written by a Posh People's Author (who doesn't usually DO this sort of thing) which is pretty much the same as their other books except they have a ROBOT or something in them. USUALLY this is a bit annoying and tedious, notably with Ian McEwan's "Machine Like Me" which was ALL RIGHT but was clearly someobdoy who had never really read any science fiction going "AHA! But what if we used science fiction as... A METAPHOR! Nobody has every thought of this before!" ANYWAY, THIS book was not at ALL like that. Well, all right, it did have a robot in it, and it was a lot like Kazuo Ishiguro's other books, but luckily Kazuo Ishiguro's other books are GRATE. It's all told from the point of view of the aforesaid ROBOT, and part of the fun is working out what they're on about as they describe a near-future world in their own terms, but it's also VERY emotional and beautifully told. He has FORM for this, OBVS, with Never Let Me Go, which was ALSO proper sci-fi and ALSO bloody brilliant.

After that HIGH I moved on with some trepidation to Wergen: The Alien Love War. I say trepidation because a) the title is not hugely inviting and b) the cover is... well, have a look for yourself and you'll see. HOWEVER, the summary sounded interesting and GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME the book itself is so far INCREDIBLE. It's beautifully written, rivettingly plotted, and most of all it features A WHOLE NEW IDEA (to me at least). The key THORT of it is this: human beings are colonising the galaxy alongside a bunch of aliens called The Wergen, who are a) genetically, unavoidably, TOTALLY IN LOVE with ALL human beings and b) a bit annoying. It's an amazing idea which Mercurio D. Rivera (who what wrote it) goes ALL IN on, which leads to a huge range of STORIES and IDEAS.

There's also a whole WORLD of other stuff that comes out of it, notably with the way The Wergen MATE, and all in all it's RUDDY AMAZING. I haven't enjoyed a book this much for AGES, and I have enjoyed a LOT of books, a LOT. As I say, I'm only halfway through but hopefully it will continue in this way. I guess it proves that, insofar as the contents go, you should not judge a book by it's cover.

Hmmm. Has anybody ever said that before? Maybe I should write a Literary Science Fiction Novel about it!

posted 8/12/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Video Schedule Update
When I sent out the latest newsletter on Wednesday it included a brief bit about VIDOES, which I thought I would EXTRAPOLATE on here. Nobody else is going to, after all, so it might as well be me!

Keen observers of my activities will have noted that there have been quite a lot of VIDOES produced for the album (The Unearthly Beauty Of MJ Hibbett - why not give the gift of a USB stick full of ME this Christmas?), with SEVEN (7) unleashed so far and the promise/threat of more to come. The most recently allowed out into the wild was What I Always Think While Watching Poetry, the SHORTEST of all the videos and, funnily enough, the shortest song too. You can see it BELOW:

It was also the quickest video to MAKE too, unlike the next one Apocalypse Prepared, which is tentatively timetabled to head your way mid-December. That took FLIPPING MONTHS to do, as it is HAND DRAWN by ME using an exercise book and one of those pens with four different colours of ink in it. It was quite MEDITATIVE, drawing a picture every day or so, but it didn't half take a lot of time. Hopefully it will be WORTH it when you see it!

That will leave SIX (6) more to put out, of which THREE (3) are so far in the bank. I'm going to have a bit of a break from the video schedule after the next one, as this much THRILLPOWER can be difficult to cope with for everybody, and then start again mid-January, which gives me a nice slice of time to try and get them all done. After that I am very much considering re-editing THE LOT to tidy everything up (e.g. by seeing if I can DE-SHAKE Someone Else's Turn a bit, after MANY REMARKS) before joining them together into A CONCEPT FILM!

The DRIVING THORT of this is two-fold. Firstly, I just like the idea of turning an album into a FULL-LENGTH VISUAL EXPERIENCE, and secondly I see this as a way to INFLICT it all on a whole new bunch of people. I know from my experience of trying to do SCREENWRITING a few years ago that there are LOADS of film festivals you can enter such things into, and after spending most of the past YEAR working on this thing, I really want to make sure it is SHARED with as many people as possible. Also, I like the thought of SWANKING ROUND going "Yes yes, it us UN FILM what I have made, a concept movie IF YOU WILL where the concept is MOI."

All that is to come but for now, as they always say on TELLY, please LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE the channel. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but if it's good enough for DOCTOR WHO then it's good enough for me!

posted 2/12/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Actual Modern Nusic Of NOW
I sent out this month's newsletter earlier today, in which I mentioned that voiting for The Dandelion Radio Festive 50 was closing at midnight tonight - purely as a SERVICE you understand. I was not suggesting WHAT anybody should vote for of course, that is the furthest thing from my mind, but I know from personal experience that IMPORTANT MUSICAL ITEMS have been released this year and people might wish to vote for them. It's basically democracy I'm thinking of, that's all.

Anyway, having had my attempt at VOTER INFLUENCING I realised that, actually, for the first time in AGES, I could probably vote MYSELF. The Festive 50 is for tracks that have been released this year, but for the past few years I've not been sufficiently up to date to think of anything. However, here in the futuristic space era of 2022 I very much AM.

For LO! a few months ago I asked for some suggestions of NEW MUSIC on Social Media, and got a HUGE list of stuff to try out, much of which I have been working my way through ever since. I asked for recommendations of stuff that people THEMSELVES liked, rather than what they thought *I* might like, so there was quite a lot of stuff where I thought "Why on earth are you suggesting THIS?!?", but then that is always the way and is indeed All Part Of The Fun. However, there was also a TONNE of stuff that I liked, and some that I liked AN AWFUL LOT!

My absolute favourite of ALL the suggested acts was The Beths, who I FLIPPING LOVE. You might say that this is unusual - it's not like I have history of really really really liking female fronted bands from the southern hemisphere who have immense tunes and brilliant lyrics - but I have listened to them A LOT this year, and was VERY excited when their new album came out. It's SURELY DECADES since a modern current band that I a) LIKE b) do not know personally has released a brand new record, so it was QUITE the thrill, and I was even MORE excited when they announced a UK tour next year and LEAPT in to get some tickets - HOORAH!

I also thoroughly enjoyed Lonely Tourist, who, if they were any further up by my street would be driving up my metaphorical drive and into my GARAGE. My only complaint with these is that nobody had seen fit to tell me about them before (as far as I remember anyway), nor had any promoters thought "Hang on, this is VERY SIMILAR to Hibbett, why not get him to support them?" Come on, THE UNIVERSE, it is surely a DREAM BILL!

I voted for tracks by both of the above ("Expert In A Dying Field" and "Four Phone Calls" respectively) and also "WTD??" by Sad13 which is GRATE and has been stuck in my head for MONTHS. That is a FAB album by them, by the way, which also conforms to a TREND what I have noticed with the current new bands i.e. that the long held RULE of starting an album with a BANGER appears to have been relaxed. I suppose it doesn't matter so much in the age of STREAMING, but I was surprised by how many albums seem to start with A Bit Of A Slow One.

I also HUGELY enjoyed Holiday Ghosts and Dream Wife, despite BOTH being the sort of band I wouldn't have listened to previously (i.e. Band That Sound American But Aren't and Band Formed On A Course In Brighton). Bas Jan were dead good too, and after much Being Mentioned I also really liked Pip Blom. Also, OBVIOUSLY, like approx 98% of everybody on the planet I bought the Wet Leg album and listened to it for about three weeks straight as it was ACE.

There were various other albums I bought and Quite Liked, and several that I keep meaning to get to, and also MANY by PALS, but all in all 2022 so far (NB there is still a month to go so this is NOT a Best Of 2022 list - people who put out Best Of The Year lists in December should be ARRESTED) has been a pretty excellent year for music for me. If it carries on like this into 2023 I might even go to a few more gigs!

posted 30/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Nation Of Language
On Thursday night I went to an ACTUAL GIG performed by PEOPLE I DON'T KNOW! I had forgotten such things existed, but was reminded of the fact by Mr M Sutton, who got us the tickets for the gig, and I must say (SPOILERS) I am pleased he did, because it was GRATE.

The gig was by Nation Of Language who I must admit I had never heard of until a couple of months ago when Mark asked if I fancied going. Since then I have done much REVISION of their recent album A Way Forward, which is dead good. It's a bit Pet Shop Boys and a bit Frazier Chorus, to my ears anyway, though other people may have more up to date reference points!

The gig was at Electric Brixton which turned out to be the old Brixton Fridge. I'd never been there before, but was familiar with the TYPE. It reminded me of places like The Scala or the Astoria, with an upstairs bar area that was MUCH less busy than the downstairs ones, and also numerous CORRIDORS and STAIRWAYS that we could use to move between aforesaid bar area and the bit that is QUITE near the front but not TOO near. Such GIG SKILLZ take years to perfect, so it was nice to know they had not deserted us!

Listening to the album I had thought it was going to be a Young Hip Audience of Electro Synth TYPES, but it turned out to be, basically, a 6Music Audience, full of 6MUSIC DADS. 6Music Dads are DELIGHTFUL as they know how it all works, behave responsibly, and generally are not Gig Wankers. For some reason we felt very much at home amongst them!

After the support band had finished (who were WEIRDLY flat, as if they were trying not to be too exciting, apart from the bass player who was clearly Doing Her Best) we were joined by the other half of the audience, reducing the aveerage ago by a couple of decades. The gear was set up, the lights went down, and I remembered just how EXCITING this bit is at Big Gigs. Then the band came on and ... COR! They were DISTINCTLY not how they sounded on record! Where that was calm, mellow and bleeping, this was FLIPPING ROCKING!

The line-up was a singer, a bass player, and a synth wizard, but between them they made a HUGE noise, with everyone ROCKING OUT pretty much throughout, apart from an interval where the bass player got everyone to say happy birthday to his NAN (and if anything is guaranteed to win over 6Music Dads, that is it). The singer was dancing around ALL OVER THE PLACE and the whole show felt ENORMOUS. It was GRATE!

Really my only complaint was that the album had misled me to believe that the actual gig would not be as BANGERTASTIC as it turned out to be. Come on, Producers Of Records, make bands who are exciting LIVE sound similarly exciting on tape! Other than that: COR! I can see now why the much mnetioned 6Music Dads continue to make the effort to go out. Gigs are BRILLIANT!

posted 25/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Black Panther and Black Adam
I have recently been to the pictures TWICE to see two different superhero films with similar-ish names - "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and "Black Adam: Murder Is Hilarious." They were NOT similar in many other ways!

I went to see Black Panther with my traditional MCU Pal Mr S Carter, who had booked us in to see it at the BFI. As per he had selected PRIME CINEASTE SEATS in the middle right at the back, and by the time we got there I was out of breath for LO! it is a MASSIVE cinema with a RUDDY ENORMOUS screen. Crumbs but it was big, and that meant that the FILM itself felt pretty enornous too.

This was also helped by the fact that the actual film IS rather huge, with a LOT going on. Dull idiots always say dull, idiotic things like "Ooh, superhero films, they're all the same aren't they?" but this was VERY different to something like "Guardians Of The Galaxy" or "Thor: Ragnorak", as it was QUITE SERIOUS throughout (though there were still some GAGS) and had a lot to say about GRIEF and all that. It was also pretty EPIC in its story, and in places it felt like Game Of Thrones or something, with Important Families and Huge Nations going into battle.

The whole thing was Very Exciting throughout, but there were two key points I took away from it. Firatly, it was amazing to watch a colossal blockbuster of action and excitement where nearly ALL of the main characters were WOMEN, and also Women Of Colour, but that not be The Be All And End All of it. I guess if they HAD spent the whole film going "Look! Look who the main characters are everybody! Let's just do that and not bother with a plot" then it would probably get a LOT more Oscars than the traditional single Oscar for something technical that superhero films usually get, but it would have been a lot less GRATE.

The second key point is that flipping NAMOR THE SUBMARINER was not only IN it, but he was presented VISUALLY very much like he is in the comics - including FLAPPY LITTLE ANKLE WINGS and also TINY GREEN SWIMMING TRUNKS - and yet was STILL VERY COOL! I am entirely happy with all the changes to Atlantis and all that, but I was AMAZED throughout that they made him so brilliant. Well done, MARVEL!

So yes, I enjoyed it a LOT, which is much more than can be said for "Black Adam", although I must admit that the cinema I saw it at may have contrinuted to my lack of THRILLZ. I saw it in the VUE in Stratford Westfield early on a Saturday evening and my fellow moviegoers were A BIT MUCH. Crikey, it felt like pretty much EVERYBODY got up at some point and left for a bit, almost always having A GOOD OLD CHAT about it before and afterwards, including the ENTIRE ROW of teenage boys who changed seats eighteen times and then LEFT FOREVER halfway through. It was like being at a GIG!

The film itself was mostly sort of ALL RIGHT, but some of the choices were a bit DERANGED. Why oh why oh why does anybody think having a PLUCKY SKATEBOARDING TEEN as the main character is a good idea? It was dreary and annoying when THE CHILDREN'S FILM FOUNDATION did it, and it hasn't got any more wonderful since then, even with the 21st Century innovation of having their BRAVE YET BEAUTIFUL SINGLE MUM as the main romantic lead. And the less said about FUN FAT UNCLE the better.

It MIGHT be argued that the Plucky Teen is there to appeal to Actual Children, but in that case it's even more MAD that the main moral lesson of the movie is "MURDER IS HILARIOUS!" All the way through people get murdered in more and more ridiculous, yet explicit, ways, and all the way through this is played as BRILLIANT, even when other characters say it isn't, it's immediately followed up by a Plucky Local saying "No, it is FAB!" I don't mind this sort of thing when it's done WELL, like in Deadpool or something, but here it felt QUEASY when mixed up with TEEN FUN.

It wasn't all terrible - The Justice Society were done really well, in a fashion quite similar to how NAMOR was done in Black Panther, and I especially liked COUSIN PIERCE* (* he is my second cousin twice removed by marriage - FACT) as Doctor Fate. All of that stuff was good fun, but the rest of it was mostly DULL, except where it was ANNOYING. I have done really well over the past few years in avoding the inevitable disappointment of DC movies by simply NOT going to see them but I'd read a couple of reviews recently that said this one would be different. It wasn't as hideously awful as "Batman VS Superman: Three Hours Of Tedium", but that's not saying an awful lot!

In summary: Black Panther good, Black Adam tedious, plucky teens awful, tiny green swimming trunks GRATE!

posted 22/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Into The Escape Capsules
The HOT TOPIC over on twitter for the past week or so has been TWITTER ITSELF, as everybody discusses what's going to happen now that The World's Worst Boss has taken it over and is seeking to inspire his staff by telling them that a) free speech is the most important thing ever b) they all have to dedicate their entire lives to his glory c) anyone who disagrees gets sacked. Who could have predicted that THAT would backfire?

With all that going on many WISE HEADS have been looking at places to go to should Twitter collapse under the weight of Everybody Who Knows How It Works Being Sacekd. The lead place to do this seems to be Mastodon, and so I have joined the mad rush of people going over there to set up accounts. I'd originally set up an account four years ago, on the advice of my in-house Comms expert, inspired by Mr J Kell taking it, but now I've gone back and have been gradually ADDING stuff to it and even POSTING. If you'd like to follow me there you can find me at

Mastodon was not my first choice, however. Initially I had the DELIGHTFUL idea of just going back to MYSPACE, and did my very best to log back into my original account there. For some reason I wasn't able to get in - I tried "Forgot Password" but, three days later, nothing has come through. It COULD be that I used an old work email to set it up, but I don't think so. I filled in a FORM to ask for help but I guess I might not be the only one trying to get back in, so Justin Timberlake (he's the owner now I think?) has probably got his hands full.

So it looks like Mastodon is the place, and with that in mind I have added a LINK to it on these very webpages, which felt weirdly SERIOUS. In many many ways it will be a shame if twitter is run into the ground by the supreme arrogance of someone born into enormous wealth (it's not like THOSE GUYS have form for this sort of thing is it?) as it's been a GRATE place for learning about stuff and indeed SHOWING OFF over the years. If it does go though it might be a nice way for us all to REBUILD what we actually liked about it in the first place. If nothing else, getting rid of all the INCREDIBLY ANNOYING adverts that clog twitter up these days would be a BOON to all our lives - and it would leave lots more room for the rest of us to do our own, ENTIRELY CHARMING advertising instead.

Talking of which, I should probably go and do a POST on Mastodon to say I've done this blog shouldn't I? Hopefully it will make a nice change from everybody just talking about twitter!

posted 21/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Today I am DELIGHTED to be releasing a thrilling new single, Bad Back (Osteopaths Of Glory Mix). It's a BANGING remix done by our very own Frankie Machine, and it's available on Spotify and all of your usual streaming services, including BANDCAMP right here:

As is my WONT of late I have also done a VIDEO to go with it, which is visible below:

Rather wonderfully Mr Steve Lamacq played the original album version on his 6music show on Friday, although I missed it because - TRUTH - I'd got the yoga mat out and was doing my back exercises!

As ever any tweets, instagram mentions, reviews or just shouting about it in the street would be VERY much appreciated, as I think this is pretty darn GRATE and would benefit from being heard about.

posted 14/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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A Proper Book
This morning I got an email containing the EXCITING news that the book Comics And Agency has been published. Obviously this is MOSTLY exciting because of the amazing array of BRANES involved in it, all with the aim to "intensify the interdisciplinary dialogue on comics and related popular multimodal forms (including manga, graphic novels, and cartoons) by focusing on the concept of medial, mediated, and mediating agency", but I must admit a lot of my own excitement is because I AM IN IT!

It will come as little surprise to anybody to find out that I am banging on about Doctor Doom as usual, in a chapter called "The Agents of Doom: An Empirical Approach to Transmedia Actors". It's an adaptation of a paper I presented at COMFOR a while ago, sharing some of the ideas behind my PhD and focusing on Market Authors and Textual Authors. I could tell you more about this here but there is NO POINT because the book is GOLD OPEN ACCESS so you can read it yourself!

I really am FLIPPING THRILLED about this - I've done loads of conference presentations, talks, and a few articles, but this is the first actual proper BOOK I've been involved in, and it is a CRACKER. Apparently I'll be getting a physical copy for myself too at some point - I CANNOT WAIT!

posted 12/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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Fire Drill Proposal
Today I have the great pleasure of unleashing the video for my song Fire Drill, the latest in the series of videos of songs from The Unearthly Beauty Of MJ Hibbett. Here it is:

As discussed elsewhere (notably my track by track analysis of the whole album for JOYZINE) this song puts forward the proposal that public safety would be better served if we had FEWER fire drills. In every job I have ever had, and indeed also when I was at school, the reaction to the fire alarm going off was a collective GROAN, followed by sluggish trudging towards the doors, often stopping to get stuff on the way because experience had told us this was CLEARLY NOT A FIRE.

My suggestion is that Fire Marshals should TELL us when there's going to be a drill. "Oh but then you would not behave as you would in a real fire," is always the answer to this from Fire Marshals. WE ARE ALREADY NOT DOING THAT is my furtehr response, ESPECIALLY on occasions when we've all seen you lurking around the entrance lobby GIGGLING to yourself. The purpose of a drill is to have a PRACTICE, so if you TELL us that is what it is then we can all be ready for it (so it doesn't bugger up long planned events, or lose HOURS of time during the day as everybody has to queue up to get back into the building) and will then WILLINGLY go along with procedures and do it PROPERLY, rather than with loathing and bitterness in our hearts. And THEN, when we hear a fire alarm when we HAVEN'T been told there's a drill, we will assume that it IS an actual fire and do it PROPERLY, rather than going to rinse our cup out, shutting down the computer, putting on our coat and so forth.

To be honest it is also borne out of being ENTIRELY FED UP of having to do them, but then again this is an echo of the PALPABLE GLEE of many Fire Marshals I have known over the years who love the POWER TRIP of forcing everyone out into the cold unneccessarily. For the good of everyone, I say it is time to put these tawdry considerations aside and reform the system once and for all!

posted 9/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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End Of Tour Finale
On Saturday I headed NORTH, to distant MIDDLEWICH. I must admit I was rather dreading the journey as a) there was meant to be a STRIKE and b) it was on Avanti West Coast, so I was expecting cancellations, delays, and all sorts of TUMULT. In the end the strike was called off and the journey was Rather Pleasant, largely due to most other people deciding not to risk it - PHEW!

I was met at Crewe station by Mr G Williams, who was putting on my GIG that night at The Kings Lock. It was very nice of Gareth to put me on, it was even NICER of him to pick me up from the station, but it was utterly above and beyond for him to come and fetch me from the ACTUAL PLATFORM. This must be what it feels like to be MARIAH CAREY!

Gareth dropped me off at the hotel I was staying in and then we reconvened back at The Kings Lock a couple of hours later. Earlier in the afternoon a ROARING FIRE had been set, which was very cosy but also POTENTIALLY DEADLY as it was RIGHT in the corner of the pub where the PA was being set up. "I'll fix it!" said a man called Adie, and he spring into action, using some TONGS to pick up the BURNING LOGS, drop them in a tin bucket, and then carry them outside.

At which point the fire alarm went off. And kept going off! The landlord managed to get it switched off after a while, and the FIRE ENGINE did not need to come, but it was all very exciting and there was MUCH JIBING throughout the rest of the evening. It was an exciting start to the night!

We got set up, I went and got some chips, and then around 8pm Gareth went on in his GUISE as Jasmine Allen Estate to do the first SET. I've SEEN Gareth play before, last time I was at The Kings Lock for Pop At The Lock, but this was the first time I'd actually HEARD him, and he was GRATE. I've READ about some of the songs he's doing in his sets so it was fantastic to finally hear them, especially "Dead Cat" as I'd thought it was JUST a song about an actual dead cat, but it is SO MUCH MORE than that. It's nice when people you like turn out to be dead good, and that was very much the case here!

After that it was my turn and I done THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Good Cooking
  • It's Hard To Be Hopeful
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Bad Back
  • I Think I Did OK
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths

  • I tell you what, this whole "Only having one alcoholic drink before you start" thing is AMAZING - it's so much easier to remember the words and NOT PANIC when you are NOT DRUNK. Who knew? HASHTAG Continuuing Professional Development. It seemed to go pretty well, and I had a LOVELY time doing it, especially when people liked the new ones. HOORAH!

    After that we embarked on A LOT OF BEER, which was followed by a stroll back to my hotel and then SEVERAL LARGE WHISKIES, also INTELLECTUAL DISCUSSION, which was a LOT of fun. The next morning definitely was LESS SO, but it was a lovely end to what has been a rather enjoyable mini-tour. Thanks very much everyone who's come to see me, and especially to everyone who's put me on - let's do it all again soon-ish!

    posted 7/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Bad Back Single Cover Reveal
    As readers of the newsletter will already be aware, later this month I shall be UNLEASHING Bad Back as a single in a brand new MIX created by our very own Frankie Machine - the Osteopaths Of Glory Mix!

    SIDEBAR: One of Frankie's main responsibilities in The Validators is Thinking Of Names For Things - I think the title of this remix demonstrates why.

    The single will be out on all of The Streaming Services on Monday 14 November, and as it's a New Thing I'll be putting it up on Bandcamp too. It is something of a BANGER and I am pretty confident that it will go down well with the core demographic i.e. the intersection of the Venn diagram showing people who like DANCING and people who have bad backs.

    It also has a new COVER, which modern marketing plans insist I must REVEAL. So here it is, REVEALED!

    As you can hopefully see, I am folowing a THEME for these covers, and that theme is PICTURES OF ME. Again, I am resolutely sure that this can only be a positive!

    posted 3/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Suffering For My Art
    On Monday afternoonI headed off to Theatre Deli near Liverpool Street after work , where I had once again booked a room to make some MOVIE MAGIC. Theatre Deli basically take over office space that isn't being used as such and rent out rooms for REHEARSAL, which is a GRATE idea and entirely perfect for my needs i.e. to have a Very Standard Room that isn't in my HOUSE in which I can record a VIDEO.

    Last time I was there I recorded the video for Kenny's Brother Alan's Stag Do and got it all done so quickly that I didn't even need HALF of my alloted two hour slot. THIS time I had arrived determined to use the LOT, with plans for FOUR (4) videos!

    The MAIN one was for Bad Back, for reasons we will be discussing in more detail later this week. My IDEA was to do something similar to what I did for Kenny, but this time with me doing BACK EXERCISES instead of INTERPRETIVE DANCE. I had thus arrived with some EXERCISE TROUSERS and a YOGA MAT, ready to FLEX. "This will be PEASY", I thought. "I do these back exercises nearly every day and they are GENTLE." Friends, it was NOT peasy and NOT gentle, as I had not factored in the fact that I would be doing eight different exercises for two minutes (i.e. the song length) TWICE (due to pretending to be two different versions of ME) for each and every one of them. I ended up doing about an HOUR of flipping exercises, which bloody wore me out, so I needed a proper sit down before doing anything else at all. I'm still aching today!

    After that I did MUCH less strenuous filming for It's Hard To Be Hopeful, People Who Stand In The Door and What I Always Think While Watching Poetry. I had decided to try and do a very straightforward NORMAL video for It's Hard To Be Hopeful, so that involved me basically playing the song all the way through a few times while filming myself from different angles. The other two were pretty much made up on the spot, with me looning around in various ways which, I hope, will make some kind of sense in THE EDITING SUITE. As before, my mantra was "Whatever it is, that's what it is." It did make life a lot easier!

    I'm planning to keep on releasing these videos at the rate of about once a week for the rest of the year, so as ever if you want to keep up with my RELEASE SCHEDULE do please go over and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

    posted 2/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Posh and Prolapse
    I had an EXTREMELY busy Saturday this weekend, as I was out TWICE on the same day. TWICE!

    The first outing was to Peterborough, where Posh were playing our Local Rivals Cambridge for the first time in the league for over TWENTY YEARS. It is a proper rivalry with RUDE SONGS and everything, so there was much excitement in the air and, indeed, in THE PUB.

    The game itself was objectively ALL RIGHT, though subjectively it was GRATE as a) we WON and b) it was via an HILARIOUS own goal, which caused much joyous jumping up and down, pointing, shouting and LARFING.

    When it was all over I hot-footed it back to the train, then home for a quick shower before zooming off AGANE to go and see Prolapse doing a GIG in Hackney. This was the last day of their TOUR which, from Social Media, looked to have been going REALLY well. I rolled up at Stratford Overground station ready for my short HOP to Hackney Central, only to feel the DESOLATION of a sign saying "Rail Replacement Bus Services This Weekend". I went and got one and it wasn't TOO bad, but still: BOO to rail replacement bus services!

    I arrived to find The Pattisons EN MASSE, which was delightful as ever, then went upstairs where I found Mr Jeff Higgott. We then went into the venue and found LOADS of other people, so there was much HELLOing and hugging and general Being Reunited. It was lovely, and in some ways it was a shame when the band came on and made all that NOISE to rudely interrupt it all.

    Once we'd all got over that though they were BRILLO. They did ALL the hits and sounded dead good -it is AMAZING how sound systems have improved since I used to see them in The Charlotte back in the days of Queen Victoria - and the whole crowd flipping LOVED it. Surely - SURELY - it won't be another several years until they do it again? Come on, Major Festival Organisers, get them booked for the summer and force them to do more!

    Afterwards there was much delight all around and more helloing, notably with Ms J Bisset who introduced me to her pal Miki. "Oh, you're THAT Miki" I said, as it was Miki from Lush (NB the band, not the shop). Truly, it was a night of CELEBRITIES!

    After saying our farewells Jeff and I went off to find the Rail Replacement Bus back to Stratford, where he would be continuing his journey. We waited a while for one to come but ended up getting a normal bus as far as Hackney Wick. "We can walk from here peasily" I said with the great confidence of someone who's had a long day on the beer and has just met Miki From Lush. It turned out to be entirely do-able, but felt CONSIDERABLY further in the dark and slightly drunk than it does sober in the daytime!

    THUS it was a quite WINDED farewell at the station, before heading home for a much needed second shower of the day. All of this social WHIRLING is a lot of fun, but it's flipping knackering!

    posted 1/11/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Someone Else's Turn
    Today I'm UNLEASHING another video for a song off of The Unearthly Beauty Of MJ Hibbett, this time for Someone Else's Turn. Here it is!

    The song's about how it's FINE when places that used to mean a lot to YOU as a Young Person change or disappear, because it means that people who are Young Persons NOW can have their own places, just like we did. With this in mind I decided to go and visit a bunch of my old HAUNTS (as partly documented a few weeks ago) and see what they were like now, keeping it to London venues because a) it would be an awful lot easier and b) if I'd done it in other cities there would be none left at all to look at. I ended up doing the filming in three batches and, as you'll see, the very last bit was done at the album launch a couple of weeks back.

    I found the experience of making it STRANGELY MOVING, and I hope that that comes across in the finished PIECE. I'm pretty determined now to keep going and do a video for EVERY song, so watch out for more of these to come over the rest of this year!

    posted 31/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Fesshole Book Launch
    I had a RIGHT glamorous night out in London's Fashionable London Town last night, as I headed into the swinging funland for the launch of Rob Manuel's book The Very Best Of Fesshole.

    The INSANE GLAMOUR started just after I got off the fancy Elizabeth Line train at the Dean Street exit into Soho, and wandered down to The Newsagent That Sells Weird Magazines That Nobody Else Does, hoping that they would have a copy of Electronic Sound. To my delight they DID, and to my even GREATER delight it include a review of my new album by the ever wonderful Mr Bob Fischer. I bought a copy and then pretty much TRIPPED OVER a flipping FILM CREW who were doing something or other in the doorway. It was all VERY SOHO darlings.

    I then popped into Gosh to get the first issue of "Miracleman: The Silver Age", and had a chat with Drew The Manager who I haven't seen for AGES. I was VERY excited to FINALLY be getting this comic that had taken several DECADES to arrive, and can confirm that it is DEAD GOOD. This Neil Gaiman chap will go far!

    Then it was a quick stroll over to Bloomsbury to The College Arms, where the book launch was scheduled to commence. It was starting at 7pm, so my cunning plan was to get there AT 7pm, as people NEVER get to these things on time so it's nice to be the person who DOES, and then lurk quietly in a corner for a bit not knowing anyone before going home. That is NOT how it went, however! When I arrived the function room was FULL, and it was weirdly full of LOADS of people I actually knew, often from various and different parts of my life. I hung around with Mr Dave Green for a big chunk of the evening, as he is VERY good at this sort of thing, introducing people to each other and being a party HOST, so I got to meet several lovely people, many of whom turned out to be people I actually ALSO knew from ONLINE. It was very much like a REUNION of everybody who was on the internet a MILLION years ago, back when it was good!

    This feeling was helped along by the fact that Rob was wandering around dressed as a BISHOP, ready for when he delivered a SERMON from atop the stairs. All right, technically it wasn't a sermon - it was him doing a BIT about the things he'd learned from doing Fesshole, and it was VERY AMUSING INDEED - but looking at some of the pictures taken it looks very much LIKE a sermon. Or possibly an INTERNET ILLUMINATI meeting.

    After that there was PROSECCO, FREE BOOKS FOR ALL (it is a LOVELY looking book, I highly recommend it!) and more chat before it was time for me to stagger out into the night, my head full of WARM THORTS towards all of the excellent people I'd seen, and my bag full of BOOK. It was GRATE!

    posted 28/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Surprising Ramsgate
    On Saturday I headed down towards KENT to play at a birthday party. It was all happening at the Ramsgate Music Hall which is an EXCELLENT venue with really nice staff too. For instance, the birthday party was a SURPRISE and my appearance was an EXTRA SECRET, so the venue had arrange for my soundcheck to happen before anyone else got there. It all felt slightly GLAMOROUS, and I felt we should have had CODENAMES or something!

    Once that was done Al the soundman recommended a curry house as being "really good". He was not wrong, in fact Flavours Of Kumar turned out to be BLOODY BRILLIANT. I thus staggered back to my hotel FULL of delicious food, and then an hour or so later wobbled back towards the venue still full, where Al escorted me surreptiously into the GREEN ROOM under the stage. I felt like a SPY!

    The party was going on upstairs, so the ORCHESTRATER of the surprise was able to sneak down to say hello and BRIEF me on the plan. He then went off to gather people and bring them down to the GIG ROOM, where they were promised SPEECHES.

    I stood downstairs listening to this all going on, FILLED with TREPIDATION. I'd been worrying about this gig for WEEKS - I have done birthday parties before, also WEDDINGS, and they are always a bit tricky. On the one hand, you have a ready made audience who sort of have to watch you, as you're there on the request of their HOSTS, but then I know from my own experience of being on the other side that they'd usually prefer to be having a good old chat with their pals. Also, what with me being me, it's a pretty good bet that nobody will have ever heard of you and not necessarily be interested in finding out!

    All of these thoughts and more were going through my head as I was introduced and EMERGED from beneath the stage to do THIS:

  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Bad Back
  • I Think I Did OK
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • The Aeroplane Over The Sea
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • As you can see, I very much went for songs that had JOKES in and that were UPBEAT - 100% BANGERS, you might say, it is not for me to comment - with the addition of The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel as a REQUEST. I've never really listened to Neutral Milk Hotel before and found I rather liked them, although it was a bit unnerving to realise that quite a LOT of other bands I'd seen over the years had clearly been listening to them a GREAT deal!!

    Happily this plan WORKED, helped enormously by the fact that the audience were LOVELY. The fact that most people didn't have a clue who I was worked in my favour, as that meant they hadn't heard any of my GRATE JOKES before, and also as stated they were DELIGHTFUL so completely WENT with it all. I was rather nervous to start with but as it went along I realised that it was all going to be FINE and by the end I was having a LOVELY time!

    I say "most people" hadn't heard my stuff before because, apart from the hosts, there were a couple of poeple who very much HAD i.e. Penny and Matt, previously of SHEFFIELD. Penny has put me on at about 3 MILLION gigs, notably several of her own big BIRTHDAY parties, but i hadn't seen them for ages so it was lovely to lurk about and have a chat. I also ended up having a chat with loads of OTHER people, who were all dead nice, which meant that I was there until QUITE LATE and the fact that I staggered back home again was nothing to do with the curry this time!

    It was, all in all, a fantastic evening, although the morning that followed all that curry and beer was distincly less so!

    posted 24/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Brighton ROCKED
    I must, surely, have used that title for a blog about a Brighton gig before, haven't I? Either way, I use it here advisedly as I did a(nother) gig in Brighton on Wednesday night, and it did indeed ROCK!

    I was playing at a new night set up by Mr James Walsh, who had the cunning idea of mixing together COMEDY and MUSIC acts, and when I arrived at the venue I found James sampling some of the ALL VEGAN food that was on offer. I did the same not long after and it was BLOODY DELICIOUS I must say. The venue, The Pipeline was a PUNK pub (their Forthcoming Gigs list was FULL of GRATE Modern Punk Band Names) and ALL VEGAN, and also has a FULL BACKLINE available upstairs for bands, which means it went right to the TOP of my just created list of Places The Validators Could Play If We Ever Do That Sort Of Thing Again. It also had some GRATE alcohol free beer, which meant I could re-engage with my wily new Gig Drinking Scheme i.e. proper booze when I arrived, non-alcoholic until just before show-time, then a pint onstage and as much actual booze as I can throw down my throat before hometime. It seems to work!

    The actual gig was split up into two HALVES, beginning with two COMEDIANS, Mr Simon Topping and Mrs Annabel Edmonds, both of whom were v good - it was proper COMEDY STUFF and to my surprise it totally worked in a MUSIC GIG environment i.e. without the CHAIRS Of Comedy! We then had a swift break, during which I went and hugged The Artist Formerly Known As Chris T-T who had delightfully turned up, and then it was back for part two. This kicked off with James himself - he had told me that this was his first ever actual proper gig playing songs, and INTENSELY ANNOYINGLY it was really really good. You're supposed to be RUBBISH for at LEAST the first decade of doing this sort of thing, but he was GRATE with some LOVELY singing and ace songs, including a cover of "A Box To Hide In" by Chris, which was ACE.

    Then it was ME and I did THIS:

  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • Bad Back
  • I Think I Did OK
  • It's Hard To Be Hopeful
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I had a LOVELY time! I re-arranged the SET as I went along, as I'd originally planned something much shorter and with more GAGS in, suitable, I thought, for A Comedy Crowd. However, as it went along I realised that this was actually just A Lovely Crowd and so I put some other stuff in, notably It's Hard To Be Hopeful (even though I had made a HYPOCRITE of myself by spending most of the journey there GLUED to my phone as all the political MADNESS continued!).

    It was ACE, and then afterwards I went downstairs for more chat with Chris and James, and then a FRENZIED RUSH back up the hill where I JUST caught my train back. This got delayed so I only JUST got the last High Speed Javelin Train out of St Pancras, and arrived back in THE OLYMPICS somewhat out of breath but VERY happy with how it had gone. Gigs are GRATE!

    posted 21/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Dropping Agile
    Today I have joined THE FUTURE, unleashing an EXCLUSIVE new TRACK which has officially DROPPED on an INFLUENCER SITE!

    Or to put it another way, this morning I put the video for Agile on the b3ta board. It sounds more exciting the other way, but that's what it means!

    The word "EXCLUSIVE" appears in the first sentence because, apparently, the way you DRIVE CUSTOMERS towards your CONTENT these days is to give influential websites the chance to EXCLUSIVELY show your track or whatever for the first day or so, as that means you send your fans to them and vica versa in a thrilling feat of social media SYNERGY. With the new album I have spent several weeks trying to sort this out for various videos, with little success - somebody did very kindly offer to do one for Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? but, for very understandable reasons, couldn't in the end, and after that I had precisely NO success with anywhere else. In fact, none of the many other sites I contacted even replied to my emails, which is a) depressingly common b) RUDE, so in the end I thought "SOD IT!" and decided to do it myself. AND DID.

    HOWEVER! The idea remained in my BRANE, and since the album was released last week I've noticed several people focusing on Agile as it is ABOUT something that many people know about, but has never (to my knowledge) been mentioned in song, possibly because it is a topic that is entirely unintelligible to anybody who has not encountered it in real life. "HA!" I thought to myself, "a topic which is unintelligible to outsiders but which many people DO think about? In a song of mine which is passed around on the internet? Why does that sound familiar?"

    For LO! that is pretty much what Hey Hey 16K was - I don't like to mention it much, so you probably won't be aware, but that song had a video too, done by Mr Rob Manuel, which became one of the earliest VIRALS back in the days when Prime Ministers lasted longer than groceries. The success of this was mostly due to Rob's video and its appearance on his site b3ta, and I thought how much fun it would be to do something like that again.

    "HANG ON A MINUTE!" my BRANE piped up. "Doesn't b3ta have a MESSAGE BOARD? Isn't that a place where you can PUT VIDEOS?" "Yes BRANE," I replied, "Why dou you... OH RIGHT, I see!"

    I checked that my LOGIN to that estimable message board still worked, and then this morning I DROPPED (put) it there for the world to see, in the hope that the world DOES see it. I had some QUALMS about whether it was OK to do this, and wondered whether the hip young trendsetters who read b3ta would appreciate it before realising that a) that is kind of what the board is for and b) the hip young trendsetters of b3ta are mostly the same AGE as me and of the same DISPOSITION, and so are pretty much the IDEAL TARGET AUDIENCE for precisely this song! ALSO I do think it is a MESSAGE (i.e. "Agile is bollocks") that needs to be HEARD - as the song says, I do think that this attitude of swanking around saying buzzwords and then rushing important jobs to the minimum standard you can get away with HAS become far too common in modern society, not least in our political system, and it would be NICE if we could at least TRY and do things properly once in a while.

    What I'm saying here is that it is a PROTEST SONG promoting a SOCIAL GOOD and so therefore everybody should share it! In fact, at time of typing this several HOURS have gone by since I DROPPED it on b3ta, so I think it's OK to start squeezing round the exclusivity of it all and post it right HERE, right NOW, THUS:

    I always say something like "Please have a look and share it around" when I release a new video, but I mean it even more this time! I do understand that AGILE works in the areas it was designed for - the delivery of software systems - but SO MANY of us work in areas that it really really was NOT designed for - just to pluck an example from the air, the maintenance of ongoing computer systems in large educational establishments, say - where it has been CLINICALLY PROVEN to be a BAD THING that I think it would be marvellous if we could start the process of NOT using it anymore! Let's make some CHNAGE!

    posted 20/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Launching Of The Album
    I awoke on Thursday last week convinced I was POORLY. I had a high heart rate and strange gurglings in my stomach, was oddly dizzy and surrounded by a general fog of PANIC. It took me quite a while to realise that this was not The Lurgy, but THE NERVES!

    For LO! it was the day of my ALBUM LAUNCH GIG and I was full of trepidation, not least because it was my first full-length solo gig since CHRISTMAS. I had been practicing all week (PROFESSIONLISM) but I'd not sung more than 7 or 8 songs in a row so didn't know if my VOICE would get all the way through or whether I'd actually remember all the words. I was organising the gig too, so had spent several days OSCILLATING between panicking about NOBODY coming and EVERYBODY coming so there wouldn't be room.

    On the way there I kept saying "It's at The King & Queen, it will be FINE" and LO! it very much WAS. Myself and The Songs On My Set arrived in VERY good time and were soon joined by a whole COMPENDIUM of lovely people, parading in one by one like some wonderful carnival of People I Really Like.

    I had sourced the ever marvellous Pete Green to be the other act, and they were EXCELLENT as usual, notably the POEMS which I really enjoyed. You can enjoy some of them YOURSELF with their new book what is AVAILABLE NOW - who knew Poems could be enjoyable? PETE, clearly!

    Then it was ME and I did THIS:

  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (group B)
  • I Think I Did OK
  • Agile
  • It's Hard To Be Hopeful
  • 20 Things To Do Before You're 30
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Bad Back
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • It Only Works Because You're here
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • We Did It Anyway

  • Boom Shake The Room

  • I REALLY enjoyed it! Miraculously, I hardly made any mistakes at all, and once I got USED to that unusual state of affairs I was able to entirely relax into the process. A major contributory factor to this is probably the FACT that I substituted ALCOHOL FREE beer for a couple of the pre-gig pints, which meant a) my BRANE was a bit more clear b) I didn't feel like I was missing out on PINTS and c) I wasn't BURPING all the way through like I used to when I employed COLA for this purpose.

    The big surprise for me was how well Bad Back went down, which was not expected but very gratefully received. It was also a relief that people GOT Agile, as I realised while playing it that if you'd never experienced that particular methodology it would be completely meaningless! Most of all though I enjoyed being in that particular room again in that particular pub, being able to stand up and basically have an extended YACK with so many of my favourite people.

    It was a bloody lovely night, gigs are GRATE!

    posted 17/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    The Album Is OUT!
    Greetings one and all on this most wondrous of days, for LO! at long last my new solo album The Unearthly Beauty Of MJ Hibbett is available to buy pretty much EVERYWHERE!

    You can buy it digitally on Bandcamp, iTunes, or ANY of those sort of sites, and stream it on Spotify if that's how you roll. There's also the PHYSICAL version, which is a USB stick that you can buy directly from this very webpage!

    To celebrate this mighty day I have UNLEASHED another video, for the album track Kenny's Brother Alan's Stag Do, which features much DANCING. Witness it here:

    Whichever way you listen to it I hope you enjoy it - it has been a LONG old time coming, and I am bloody DELIGHTED that it's out there at last!

    posted 14/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Bandcamp Unleashed
    As we creep stealthily towards Official Release Day for The Unearthly Beauty Of MJ Hibbett on Friday, moves have been afoot to make it available slightly earlier than that for certain interested parties. The USB memory stick version went on sale to newsletter subscribers last week, and today I've quietly put both the digital and physical versions on Bandcamp too.

    The reasons for doing this a couple of days early are tactical, practical and strategical. Partly it's to say thanks to all the people who've bought my stuff on Bandcamp by giving them an EXCITING OPPORTUNITY to get in on the memory sticks, and partly it's to give me one less job to do on Friday morning, when the ROCK ADMIN is quite hefty. I would very much like to point out that these are the ONLY reasons for doing it this way, and any suggestions that I accidentally released it early while trying to work out how to add MERCH to Bandcamp are NONSENSICAL. As if I would do something like that! Again!

    Either way, it's there RIGHT NOW so if you'd like to have a listen to the album, or indeed PURCHASE it in digital or physical format, this is your chance to do so before THE MAINSTREAM hears it on Friday! Hope you like it if you do!

    posted 12/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Evolver: 62
    On Friday night I headed into London Town to The Bloomsbury Theatre, where I had tickets to see Beatles Scholar Mark Lewisohn do a talk called "Evolver:62". The idea was that he was presented 62 different ITEMS which told the story of The Beatles in 1962, which to some people may not SEEM the ideal way to spend a Friday evening but to me VERY MUCH WAS.

    I was planning to meet Mr S Wilkinson for a PINT in the bar beforehand, but when I arrived it was closed so instead we went to a PUB, getting absolutely BLATTERED with rain on the way there. Inside they had the telly on showing The News, and on it I saw Mr Matt Tiller speaking about the Jack Leslie campaign what he has been one of the organisers of. It was VERY exciting and I fear I ALARMED some of the pub by shouting "IT'S MATT!" when he came on.

    We returned to the Theatre to find that the bar a) open b) VERY busy. Happily I had been in this situation before, and knew that there was an UPSTAIRS bar which is usually, and was on this occasion, much less busy. This use of KNOWLEDGE felt GOOD!

    The show began soon after and, as expected, it was GRATE. The wonderful thing about Mr Lewisohn is that he actually does PROPER RESEARCH, properly digging into things to find out what ACTUALLY happened via EVIDENCE rather than, as most other such writers do, just copying what other people have said in the past. This is particularly INVIGORATING with Beatles stuff as SO much of the previous literature is based on newspaper reports from the sixties which were ALWAYS WRONG about pretty much EVERYTHING. Huge tracts of the show was him saying "People have always said (FACT) for yeard, but actually (OPPOSITE THING) is true, and LOOK! here are multuple documents proving it!"

    I don't want to give examples because that would spoil the DELIGHT of seeing the show and/or reading his books, but it was RIVETING. The whole audience was on the edge of their seats, although as time went by some of that might be due to everyone needing a WEE. The first half was on for ninety minutes, and looking around me I realised that I would not be the only one Gettig A Bit Desperate, for LO! it was a room containing approx 500 men over the age of 50. THUS when the first half ended Simon and I were up and OUT before the applause had finished, thus getting to the BAR and LOO (respectively) before enormous QUEUES began. Even by the time I had emerged from the loo there was a queue stretching down TWO flights of stairs and across another room, so I was relieved to be relieved.

    The second half was just as EXCITING, and also quite MOVING. Part of the THRUST of the show was that the Beatles did not BECOME interesting people in 1969 when "Get Back" was filmed, but had ALWAYS been like that, and the case was WELL MADE. I don't really NEED more reasons to love The Beatles, but the show was full of examples of them just being ACE, which I liked a LOT.

    When it was all over I was lurking around in the lobby when someone came over and said "Can I take your picture?" This was due to the fact that I was wearing my TEATLES t-shirt, and the person asking was one of the editors. I gleefully agreed, and just as she took the picture another chap came RUNNING over, whipped off his jumper, and revealed exactly the same t-shirt underneath. HOORAH!

    It was a delightful end to a DELIGHTTFUL evening. Now all we need is for Mr Lewisohn to get back to his typewriter and finish the next book please!

    posted 10/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    On The Radio
    Yesterday Mr Steve Lamacq played Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? on his radio show, and it was VERY exciting. You can listen to it yourself via the BBC Sounds Thingy for the next month or so to see what I mean!

    I knew it was going to be played on Thursday, but I did not know WHEN during the show, and this caused me some worry because Thursday is also the day when Steve does "Roundtable", when a bunch of people listen to new releases and JUDGE them. I don't really WANT to be judged, thank you very much, so was HUGELY relieved when it came on about ten minutes before that bit started. PHEW!

    I was also BLOODY DELIGHTED by how GRATE it sounded, and especially by how PROPERLY LOUD it was. About 10 million years ago when I first started issuing recordings I was often perplexed by how our stuff sounded a bit WEEDY compared to other songs, and was thus intrigued when our producer of the time, Mr Kev Reverb, introduced me to the wonders of COMPRESSION. He had a MAGIC BOX (NB it was an actual BOX in those days) that you plugged into the mixing desk when the final masters were being made, and this somehow - MAGICALLY - made everything sound louder and more exciting. Ever since that day I have pursued COMPRESSION in all things, although I've never really understood how it works. However, I do know that if you do it WRONG everything sounds WEIRD, so for this album I spent quite a lot of time downloading different compression THINGS and trying them out to make everything sound as LOUD and EXCITING as I could. All of which is a very long way round to saying that I was pleased to discover my efforts had not been in vain!

    It was especially nice to be on the radio again because it meant that people had HEARD the song, which is kind of the point of doing it in the first place. I was extremely CHUFFED that evening to read on Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere of various CHUMS who had heard it, and others who were off to listen having been alerted by my SHOWING OFF about it. Mr S Hewitt did A TWEET which showed that, apart from an outing for The Fair Play Trophy during the last World Cup, this was the first time I've had any airplay on 6Music for SIX YEARS. Obviously there's been some HOT POP PLAYS for Jane And John since then, but it's nice to have something under my own name again. As he said, it did feel very much like I was "back! Back! BACK! BAYBEE!!!"

    The next step in The Hibbett Revival is to do some GIGS, for which I am very much PRACTICING. It has been a LONG time, but I am RIGHT looking forward to it!

    posted 7/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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    Shifting Units
    I've spent quite a bit of the past 24 hours packing up USB memory stick ALBUMS and then taking them to EITHER the post box (for UK addresses) OR our local Post Office equivalent (other). It's been a LONG old time since I did a proper release like this, so it's also AGES since I last flexed my p&p muscles, and it's been LOVELY to get back into it again. Many of the EXCELLENT people who buy stuff off me have been doing so for YEARS, sometimes DECADES, so it's brilliant to see the same REGULARS popping up again in my inbox. I can even remember addresses for some people, so it's always fun to note who's moved house since the last album!

    The only downside is that it has also forced me to confront how much POSTAGE prices have increased - crikey o'riley, I am pretty sure it wasn't A MILLION QUID to post a Large Letter last time I did it! Other than that it's trememndous fun, and I'm looking forward to inviting NEW people to join in when the album goes on general sale in just over a week.

    In the meantime I am also hard at work with the MEDIA campaign. Last week I emailed, DMed and messaged about a THOUSAND people about the single, and this week I'm doing the similar for the album. As ever, I am quite enjoying it, although I can see why STING or whoever employs minionsto do it for them, as it does involve quite a lot of copying and pasting of press releases.

    Happily this work has garnered some RESULTS with various delightful types either having played the single already or promising to do so soon- for instance, Mr S Lamacq will be playing it on his 6 Music show on Thursday, if you would care to join me in AVIDLY LISTENING - and I've even got a review in an ACTUAL MAGAZINE coming too. Mr B Fischer has written one for Electronic Sound magazine, which is VERY exciting!

    In summary, it's all going pretty well so far, with a week to go before the album even comes out. The only cloud on the horizon is the very real possibility that I will soon run out of newsagents etc to PLUNDER for books of stamps - apologies in advance to anyone in the E20 postcode who can't find Large Letter stamps anywhere, that's me what has had them all!

    posted 4/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
    (click here for permanent link)

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    Happy Single Release Day To All Our Readers!
    Finally, after MONTHS of planning and getting things ready, I can UNLEASH the first fruits of this summer's solo album LABOUR, fo LO! it is RELEASE DAY for the first single Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

    It's out RIGHT NOW on all of your streaming services, including Spotify, Apple music, Amazon and wherever else you can get these things (you used to be able to get it from TESCO, but I'm not sure if that still happens!). The only places you CAN'T buy it are from Actual Record Shops, as it's not an Actual Record, and BANDCAMP, because I'm saving that for when the album comes out next week!

    It's also got a VIDEO, which I am DELIGHTED to share with you below:

    I'm currently up to my EARS trying to promote this through the modern internet, sending out links and submitting to playlists etc etc. As ever, any help with reviews, retweets, or just talking about it loudly in public places would be VERY much appreciated - I'm really rather keen on this here single, and also the album it is taken from, so I would very much like people to hear it!

    posted 3/10/2022 by MJ Hibbett
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