MJ Hibbett had a viral hit before the term had been popularised with Hey Hey 16k, is a major advocate of the ukelele, was Steve Lamacq's Euro 2004 correspondent, got called "a national institution" by The Word and will in August be at the Edinburgh Fringe performing My Exciting Life In ROCK!, an autobiographial account of his career with musical illustration, with a single called It Only Works Because You're Here out before then. We love him, so we asked him what he loves, and he told us.
MJ Hibbett's Muxtape
I've had a bit of a think and I thought I'd do a "My Exciting Life In ROCK" THEMED muxtape, based on the life-cycle of being in a band. THUS:
Art Brut - Formed A Band
When I first saw them Eddie Argos used this song to tell the ENTIRE audience to go out TONIGHT and form their own band. If I hadn’t already got one I would have done so IMMEDIATELY!
The Beatles - You Never Give Me Your Money
This is Macca trying to persuade the other Fabs to go out on the road and do some tiny gigs again, because it would be FUN. They disagreed – miserable sods.
Half Man Half Biscuit - Running Order Squabble Fest
This is EXACTLY what being in a band is like after the first three gigs, and is thus why most bands split up soon afterwards!
The Wave Pictures - Just Like A Drummer
I went to seem them a few weeks ago and was AMAZED by how amazING they were – even better live than on record, as the live version of EVERY song was augmented by TREMENDOUS guitar solos.
Belle & Sebastian - This Is Just A Modern Rock Song
Songs about being in a band are usually about the exciting bits at the start, the crazy bits towards the end, or sitting around in a hotel room feeling fed up. There’s hardly ANY about the bit about sixth months in when you wonder whether you should pack it in or carry on plugging away because “we're not terrific but we're competent.”
John Otway - Geneve
The Life On The Road Song usually goes “I am lonely and I miss my girlfriend, boo hoo” and is usually DREARY but Otway, being Otway, manages to make it charming, also heartbreaking. Before I even started doing gigs Otway gave me the best advice EVER. He was sitting in the front bar of The Princess Charlotte and I asked him why he was sitting with the punters rather than in his dressing room. “If I sit backstage I’ll be all on my own”, he said. “If I come out here people buy me beer and tell me I’m great.”
Billy Bragg - Waiting For The Great Leap Forward
Another Life On The Road Song, but Mr Bragg uses it as a METAPHOR for… well, everything. Also featuring: FANTASTIC FADEOUT.
The Divine Comedy - The Booklovers
For some people TOURING and recording is so DULL they are “forced” to take heroin. Me, I take a pile of BOOKS and the latest issue of “Puzzler” magazine.
Suede - The Big Time
Talking of which – SUEDE!
The Boo Radleys - High As Monkeys
People, correctly, laud Giant Steps as one of the best albums of the 90’s but actually I think Kingsize is even BETTER. Not many people hold this opinion because not many people BOUGHT it, but still: Brett, cheer up, THIS is how you should be doing it!
Wings - Rockshow
Macca at the height of his POMP in Wings, inventing stadium ROCK, not giving a toss what anybody thought of him and, clearly, having a FABULOUS time!
Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Boom Shake The Room
The big finish! I play this song at the end of my show because a) it’s brilliant and b) EVERYONE knows the words. Every time I play it I see audience members ASTONISHED to find themselves singing along, it’s GRATE!