The man previously described on our podcast as “the East Midlands Springsteen” is BACK with a new single and it’s GRATE!
As always The Validators are professional, competent, rocking and tight and M.J. Hibbett’s lyrics touch a lot of nerves, tickle a lot of ribs, ring a lot of bells and hit a lot of nails on their little steely heads.
Here he is answering a few questions about the new single before the conversation boldly goes off on a tangent.
I heard you play this song at the Gullivers gig in Manchester a while back. It’s changed a bit since then though, right?
Yes, it’s changed title at least twice along the way. Initially it was called “In The Pub (talking crap)” which, while descriptive, was a bit boring. We discussed it during our Annual Validators Practice (instead of practicing) and decided that “Two Blokes, One Pub” was a HILARIOUS name, but this turned out not to be the case. It was also a bit confusing, so eventually I bowed to the inevitable and gave it the name it should have had all along,
What made you choose the “repeat last line several times to end the song” approach here?
The straight and honest answer was that I wanted to rip off Gavin Osborn. A slightly more polite answer would be that over the past couple of years I’ve toured with people like Gav, Matt Tiller and Grace Petrie, all of whom have songs specifically engineered to get groups of people singing along and I wanted some of that action. I do have a couple of songs that people do sing along with, but they always have fiddly choruses that change as they go along, or wonky bits. So I wanted something like Gav’s “Closing Montage” song that I could potentially close gigs with.
Quiz question….. The Smiths Panic, Buzzcocks I Believe, Daddy Cool by Boney M and that Killers I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier one.
Without listening to the songs, put those songs in order of who repeats the last line the most.
I don’t know the Buzzcocks or the Killers ones I’m afraid so I’ll GUESS that it goes Boney M / Killers / Buzzcocks / Smiths but I have no idea!
That’s EXACTLY the right order! Astounding skills there MJ.
Do you have any other favourite examples of this you’d like to mention?
Clearly the big daddy of ALL Repeat Last Line Songs is “Hey Jude”, which makes it a bit of an obvious one to mention, but I think its omnipresence sometimes makes us forget how amazing it is. I went to see Macca a few years ago and (of course) he did it as the big finale of his main set, and I suddenly found myself in floods of tears, as the whole of the Millenium Dome O2 went “na, na na, nananana” together. It’s one of those songs which TRANSCENDS words and goes straight to MEANING (hem hem), and it is ace.
Next questions are all from Mrs Garbanzo who noticed the Star Trek reference in your song and wanted to ask you these questions……..
What is the worst Star Trek TV series?
In the song I say it’s Voyager, but I am prepared to hear arguments for it being Enterprise, although I only lasted a couple of seasons with the latter. For both shows it’s because they’re so BORING. The Next Generation managed to make management meetings (in space) look fun and Deep Space Nine got regular thrills about the management of a parade of shops (in space), so there really is no excuse for making being completely lost (in space) or going exploring for the first time (in space) so completely dull.
What is the best Star Trek TV series?
Deep Space Nine. Every time I watch it over again I think “the first few seasons will be rubbish” but it’s GRATE from the start. I love how all the relationships work, like between Miles and Julian, or Odo and Quark, or Kira and Kai Winn (best baddy EVER) , and then when it all kicks off with the Romulans in the second half it is AMAZING. The One Where Captain Sisko Lets A Bomb Go Off is bloody brilliant!
Have you watched Picard and what did you think?
It was a bit disappointing to be honest, especially after Discovery being so much fun. Somewhere around episode eight I realised I didn’t have a clue what was meant to be going on – suddenly all these space robots turn up with Data who isn’t Data and there are Space Flowers and some secret Romulans and Borg Octopuses and I found that I didn’t give a toss and would much rather go back and watch Ryker making Pizza instead.
WARNING: The next question contains a MASSIVE SPOILER for the current series of Picard so if you don’t want to know the score, look away now.
Are the Borg alright if given half a chance?
The Borg as a whole, no, because they’re the Borg, but the people who WERE the Borg, if they’re given a chance (i.e. freed from the Collective) then yes, some of them will turn out to be poorly motivated, mysteriously funded, unconvincing parents who are still somehow completely BADASS and ace. I feel that this is an excellent example/metaphor for what the song is all about!
Tell us about the Totally Acoustic videos you’ve been doing during the lockdown.
The original Totally Acoustic night was a regular gig I did in the upstairs room of a pub (most recently the lovely King & Queen in Fitzrovia) where I got people who didn’t generally do acoustic sets to play COMPLETELY acoustically i.e. without a PA system or any amplification whatsoever. The idea came about after I ended up having to do a couple of gigs like that when the sound fell apart and realising that, actually, with the size of rooms and audiences that I play for, a PA was entirely unnecessary, and that singing directly to people without it was much much nicer. Most people tend to agree once they’ve tried it!
The videos came about because I had to cancel a couple of shows that I’d booked – we’d also had to cancel a conference at work, and my other half had suggested doing it all VIRTUALLY, so I thought I’d have a go at doing gigs that way too. It’s been really nice to put together, not least because it’s a lovely way to keep in touch with people I actually like in real life!
Here’s a playlist of all of them by the way.
Anything else you’d particularly recommend that’s been helping you get through isolation.
I’ve been doing some Comfort Reading, like PG Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Jane Austen and currently “Microserfs” by Douglas Copeland. Lovely books with ace characters where I know it’ll all turn out all right in the end!
Also I have just discovered that the sister of Tom, our violin player, appears in the latest series of The Repair Shop so I need to go and watch all of that!
Here’s a link to buy the single….
and here’s the video….
Related posts on this website:
- Q&A with M.J. Hibbett
- Live review: Going Up The Country festical, June 2015
- Live review: Indietracks Festival, July 2017
- Podcast number 5
- Podcast number 41 – 2015 General Election episode
- Podcast number 45
- Podcast number 53 – Chorizo’s favourite music of 2015