Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez

by MJ Hibbett & The Validators

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about

The fourth album from Indie Legends MJ Hibbett & The Validators, 'Regardez Ecoutez et Repetez' has rightly been hailed as their best yet. An 'Album Of The Day' on BBC 6Music and (very) Long-listed for the Mercury Music Prize, this is their most boistrous, confident, fact packed album covering all aspects of life in your thirties like daft dancing, office politics, dieting, hen nights and getting home before closing time. It's full of music, opinion, tunes and good times - as you can see from the reviews...


It's impossible not to raise a smile at the delightful absurdities and lyrical observations of indie-pop "poet laureate" Mark Hibbett, especially when they're liberally sprinkled throughout "Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez", the fourth album from Hibbett and his perfect musical foil, The Validators

Writing from the point of view of a thirty-something coming to terms with adulthood and the modern world, there are numerous eternal truths in songs such as "Do The Indie Kid", "Do More, Eat Less", "All The Good Men", "My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once" and "It Only Works Because You're Here".

The wistful nostalgia of "Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something", about the closure of the city's venues, has a serious point to make, and like those other kings of the quirky lyric, Half Man Half Biscuit, repeated listening reveals previously overlooked gems.

Like HMHB too, The Validators do indie pop-rock well - catchy riffs proliferate, although unlike their Wirral contemporaries they also add elements of a capella, delightful harmonies, folky sounding fiddle and brass that sometimes brings to mind both latter and early-period Chumbawamba.

Almost certainly too clever by half for popular acclaim, subscribe now to your new favourite underground sensation.

- Sean McGhee, Rock'n'Reel


In a pointy-bearded parallel universe, MJ Hibbett & The Validators would be more than just underground legends.

Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez is stuffed with rumbustious pop philosophy you can dance to - the self-explanatory Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid, the Hibbett diet plan of Do More, Eat Less and the introducing-the-girlfriend awkwardness of Best Behaviour.

The ballads are cracking too. Information Technology torch song It Only Works Because You're Here is Hibbett's Back For Good, and Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something is a sweet eulogy to a disappearing town, the pubs and venues he played and the town he might have stayed in, all torn down in the name of progress.

This is indie music the way it was supposed to be, with a gleeful, anarchic DIY spirit, the band's enthusiasm for each and every song bursting out of the stereo. There be magic here - seek it out.

- James Walsh, The Morning Star


Over the course of his and his band's many releases, MJ Hibbett has shown his work to occupy something between a memoir and a column — or a blog — of general observations, a product of his own upbringing, musical and otherwise, in a different time. It's these kinds of tensions and observations that make Hibbett's work more than just "indie pop" as such — if anything, it puts him in line with some of the best hip-hop MCs out there — and Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez continues the string of his winners. Reprising the merry kick of the "Do the Indie Kid" single with a slightly different "music of the future" section, the album otherwise finds Hibbett and the Validators touching on everything from computer desk guys finding love to the travails of having to play shows too late at night, all while finding new ways to gently twist their catchy understated rock chug. "Do More, Eat Less" relies on strings and a merry rhythm shuffle on the verses and squelchy horns on the break even as Hibbett dispenses dietary advice from a knowing position, while "We Can Start Having Fun" might be one of the few rock epics about just going for it worth its salt (and the band lives up to it with massed vocals, a triumphant arrangement, and a slow-burn coda). Perhaps one of the most poignant moments comes with "Red Black Gold," with Hibbett reflecting on the luck of a generation of latter-day Smiths fans not knowing just what "the Bomb" that Morrissey sang of in "Ask" was. It's a perfect summary of noting how time and place shape a person and perceptions — and in keeping with his work, it's a catchy-as-hell song.

- Ned Raggett, All Music


MJ Hibbett & The Validators are another band who are very much about their lyrics and this is very much in evidence on this, their third album. Lead track Being Happy Doesn’t Make You Stupid is a knockabout indie pop tune, with weird interference. It’s difficult not to think of Half Man Half Biscuit, especially when they break into a chorus of “hey there emo boy, give us all a smile”. Do The Indie Kid is the Time Warp for non-indie kids, affectionately sending up their dancing. Do More, Eat Less is a disturbed Muppet Show theme tune, with an upbeat chorus. Vocals are buried deep in the verses, meaning the chorus attracts more attention. It’s weird and wonderful. Its when you get to Best Behaviour you realise how much Mark can sound like Eddie Argos at times, those great affected, sometimes surprised vocals which are also over accentuated and with lots of gaps for effect. It’s a good thing, and he retains enough of his own character to make it endearing. We Can Start Having Fun starts out all mournful and although the lyrics are optimistic it sounds sorry for itself. There’s then a celebratory awakening, brass and shimmering guitars and swaying teary eyed vocals. Red Black Gold rocks out, and goes over the top with bells on when we get to the chorus. It then turns into a waltz about Morrissey lyrics and rocks out at the end only to be covered by radio interference. My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once reminds me so much of I, Ludicrous. It tells the perils of someone reliving his past glories through a following in the far east, to a rattling melody. Has the tale of an impossible office romance every sounded as sad and sweet as It Only Works Because You're Here? Probably not, its maudlin country in its heart, but indie pop in its clothes. And it has a cool wonky chorus too. We’re Old And We’re Tired (And We Want To Go Home) is my favourite on the album, a roustabout tune that would make a great pub singalong for those sensitive and long in the tooth. And it’s all about having an early night. Leicester’s Trying To Tell Me Something has that slow early Mary Chain drumbeat, the sad lyrics of a musical past disappearing to the cost of development, a vented wall of fuzzed guitars now and again and the tear jerking vocal. Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez is a very fine album indeed.

- Russell's Reviews

credits

released 11 May 2009

Recorded at The Snug Recording Company, Derby

Produced by Tim Pattison
Engineered by Rich Collins and Rob Newman

Written and played by MJ Hibbett & The Validators, who are:

MJ Hibbett - vocals, guitar, ukelele, keyboards, bass
Frankie Machine - bass, trumpet, euphonium, guitar, mouth organ, vocals
Tom 'Tiger' McClure - violin, electric violin, strings, keyboards, vocals
Emma Pattison - vocals
Tim Pattison - drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals

All songs published by WipeOut Music

An Artists Against Success presentation 2009

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about

MJ Hibbett & The Validators UK

MJ Hibbett & The Validators have performed live on Radio One, had a Record Of The Year in Rolling Stone, an Album Of The Day on 6Music, released one of the first ever viral videos, toured the UK and Europe, featured in an Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, and recorded a science fiction rock opera, all while maintaining their complete independence from outside record labels. ... more

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Track Name: Being Happy Doesn't Make You Stupid
Like Black Bolt with a cob on
You sit there in a sulk
While everybody else is down the pub
If you think your time's spent better
Doing research in your room
You are not Mr Fantastic, you're Doctor Doom
So Victor, just for you
Here's a universal truth

Being happy doesn't make you stupid
Being clever shouldn't make you sad
Having fun will never turn you daft

Do you believe sarcastic sneering
Is the best way to react
To a rotten world only you understand?
If the planet's all that awful
Then don't you think you should
Try and use your mighty power for good?
It doesn't take a Cosmic Cube
To see that what I say is true

Being happy doesn't make you stupid
Being clever shouldn't make you sad
Having fun will never turn you daft

Put this message in a bottle
Send that bottle back through time
I know someone who could use this advice
Hey there Emo Boy give us all a smile
Hey there Emo Boy give us all a smile
Hey there Emo Boy give us all a smile
Hey there Emo Boy give us all a smile

Being happy doesn't make you stupid
Being clever shouldn't make you sad
Having fun will never turn you daft

We spend all our lives trapped inside
A prison made of bone
The sound of laughter says we're not alone
We're not alone
Don't be alone
You're not alone

Being happy doesn't make you stupid
Being clever shouldn't make you sad
Having fun will never turn you daft

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: Do The Indie Kid
At the height of Britpop
I found myself in France
I went to an Indie Disco
There to dance
The French were enthusiastic
They served the beer in pints
But they partied like it was
1959
They frugged and strutted like
Un jardin du poulets
I said Regardez
Ecoutez et repetez

Hands behind your back
And bounce your hips
Move your feet around
And do the Indie Kid

At weddings that I go to
The first hour of the DJ's set
Is when they play the songs that
The groom requests
At Mileage's reception
There was a small dancing hardcore
Of old schoolfriends until
My parents took to the floor
They started twisting to The Pixies
I could have died
I said Mother, if you must
Please do it right

Hands behind your back
And bounce your hips
Move your feet around
And do the Indie Kid

I was chatting to a colleague
About LINUX for PCs
And spent the next five hundred
Years asleep
When I woke the world had altered
Especially for The Kids
In that the radio
Played songs that went like this

(AVANT JAZZ FREAKOUT)

They leapt around like
Milkmen on a motorway
They needed someone hep
To show the way
So I said 'Hey!'

Hands behind your back
And bounce your hips
Move your feet around
And do the Indie Kid


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: Do More, Eat Less
The reason that you're fat is that you eat too much
It's not to do with your metabolism
Your glands, your gran, your genetics
The fact that you packed smoking in
Are another bunch of things it isn't
You need to ditch this list of excuses
The only way to lose weight is

A simple plan that's still the best
Do more, eat less
If your physique makes you depressed
Do more, eat less
If bending over makes you sweat
Say no to lifts and take the steps
Do more, eat less

Now your lifestyle decisions aren't my issue
Your BMI scale rating's not my business
What pulls my chain is when you say
It's so unfair I can't lose weight
While wolfing down another pack of Pringles
Let's quit the grisling and let's act
Like adults and accept the fact

There's just one way to shed that flesh
Do more, eat less
If you would like a looser vest
Do more, eat less
Oh gentlemen with bouncing breasts
Who walk like weebles in distress
Do more, eat less

It's not just weight where this applies
There's an awful lot of work we've got to do in life
And there are no
Level skipping cheat codes
But to put the blame on agencies outside won't help
We've got to take responsibility for ourselves
And say 'Hey Hey!'

I got myself into this mess
I'll do more, eat less
It's time that I got out of bed
I'll do more, eat less
When stuck in ruts inside your head
Abandon tractor, walk instead
Do more, eat less

Up to your eyeballs in bad debt
Do more, eat less
Cannot attract the fairer sex
Do more, eat less
Wake up that inner voice that says
No to self-pity, to life yes
Do more, eat less


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: Best Behaviour
Old friend, his new girlfriend
And me in the pub
It was so sweet
To see them so much in love
But conversation was weird
We talked about proper stuff
For the first time in years
Guess it must be because he was on his

Best behaviour
Best behaviour
He didn't want to dissuade her
So he was on best behaviour

She said Can I get
Any of you a drink?
When she went to the bar I said
I bet you're dying to know what I think
I said She's really nice
He said Yeah, she really is
She's not usually this polite
It's almost as if she is on her

Best behaviour
Best behaviour
She normally swears like a sailor
She's on best behaviour

Sometimes it seems that we spend half our lives
Trying to give good accounts of ourselves
Some people would say we should speak as we find
And it's tough luck for anyone else
You know the type
Straight talking, direct
What you see is what you get
Unafraid to be delightfully
Politically incorrect
But that's not being clever
That's just being rude
For people who think that they're better
Than the rest of us it's an excuse to use

Bad behaviour
Bad behaviour
Do us all a favour
And pack in this bad behaviour

It's selfish, it's lazy, it's what we're not
Hey, manners are free but they're worth a lot
Give us suavity, elegance, style and good grace
It'll make the world a more charming place

With best behaviour
Best behaviour
The better part of our nature
Is when we're on best behaviour


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: All The Good Men
In Weatherspoons on Saturday
I heard a hen night in full complaint
About all the men that they'd ever met
Who they'd allowed to chat them up and clamber into their bed
They seemed surprised to find that this
Had never formed the firm foundation of relationships
They shouted 'Where are all the good men?' but
They were next door doing Top Tens in the real ale pub
The reason that some men act like jerks
Is that behaviour tends to work
If you really want to stop it it'll take one step
Stop rewarding them with sex
That's all you've got to do

I went to the table and I drew them a map
To show them where to go to find the decent chaps
Like record shops and computer fairs
There's load of lovely fellas there going spare
Maths geeks, vinyl freaks, fanboys and goths
Trekkers, twitchers, whovians and spods
Men with interests beside themselves and their jobs
And all they need's a little love and a wash
Supporters clubs, allotments, near traction engines
Touring battlefields and comics conventions
Restoring steam railways, selling fanzines
Taking minutes, driving mini-vans and managing teams

That's where all the good men go
All the good men
That's where all the good men go
All the good men go

I know I shouldn't get upset
Whenever women get together
And say that men are just a bunch of rotten bastards
But we're really bloody not
And they must know that is wrong
The world is full of lovely brothers, friends and partners
But there's a shiftless sect of gits
Who loudly act like wankers which
Is quite impressive if you're easily led
So soft lads do it too
Because it seems to get results
But if it didn't they'd do something else instead
And oh what a wonderful world it would be
If the hoodies started looking up to Tim Berners Lee
Sir Clive Sinclair on the cover of Heat
And the queue for Maplins catalogues running down the street

That's where all the good men go
All the good men
That's where all the good men go
All the good men go


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: We Can Start Having Fun
We can start having fun
When all our homework's done
When we've revised
Our mocks and applied
For University

We can start making friends
When this semester ends
There's theses to write
And CVs to type
I'm a team player

We can start to relax
In the next band of tax
We've children to raise
And more bills to pay
Responsibilities

I have spent most of my life
Doing what I hoped was right
I've studied and learnt
I've saved, paid and earnt
I've done enough waiting

Let people laugh all that they like
I want a motorbike
Screw caravans
I'm joining a band
Won't you play piano?

So take my hand and come on
Let's bugger off into the sun
Let's spend all our cash
While we still can
We can start having fun


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: Red Black Gold
RED BLACK GOLD! RED BLACK GOLD!
RED BLACK GOLD! RED BLACK GOLD!

Near a lonely layby on the B6061
Stands a petrol station rarely used by anyone
There behind the cashier's desk
The sleeper agent waits
For the signal from the Kremlin
Telling him to activate
Part of a chain of service stations funded by the KGB
Designed to form invasion staging posts for the Red Army

RED BLACK GOLD! RED BLACK GOLD!
RED BLACK GOLD! RED BLACK GOLD!

The rest of the chain was quietly sold when the Cold War had cooled down
The sleeper used his agent's pension to buy the leasehold out
It's all he's ever known to do
So he prefers to wait
For the signal from the Kremlin
Telling him to activate
So say 'nyet' to Welcome Break, let Moto be ignored
Look for the final holdout
On the island of Mam Tor

RED BLACK GOLD! RED BLACK GOLD!

Searching online for the lyrics to 'Ask'
I found an unofficial homepage
With a furious debate between teenagers over
The words of a Morrissey phrase
Some said he sang 'It is the bond' meaning the bond
That forms when the lovers unite
Others thought it was 'The Bomb' like explosions
That go off when love unrequited requites
But of course it's the bomb, it's the nuclear bomb
Is the bomb that'll bring them together
But none of them knew, they had no idea what it meant

And I thought, well that's great, that we live in an age
Where the kids don't live in certain knowledge
That they'll all be wiped out beneath a mushroom cloud
Before they're halfway through sixth form college
And I know that the world isn't perfect, I know there's lots wrong
But at least we have managed to turn round the words of one song
Because it's not the bomb, it's not the bomb
That'll bring us together
And if it's not the bomb maybe it's love


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
My boss was in an indie band once
He's still got his paisley shirt
He reckons that the ethics of punk
Can be applied to the world of work
My boss was in an indie band once
He's still kicking out the jams
He says Here are three bullet points
Go and form a Business Plan
Because my boss was in an indie band once
Yes he was
He was – yes he was

My boss was in an indie band once
He never sold his bass
It's in the attic with a box of his singles
And the master tapes
My boss was in an indie band once
And when he started working here
It was meant to be a temporary gig
While he reassessed his Rock Career
My boss was in an indie band once
Yes he was
He was – yes he was

Then he got a message on his MySpace from a girl in Kyoto
She's a lifelong fan and her record label wanted to know
If he's still got the master tapes, they want to do a re-release
Turns out he's got a cult following out there in the Far East
He was pleased
To say the least

My boss is in an indie band now
He's got a brand new band
They're twenty years younger than he is
And they're on tour in Japan
My boss is in an indie band now
And while he's got time off
They've asked if I wouldn't mind
Acting up to do his job
Now I'm the one who was
In an indie band once

Yes I was - I've played the Bull & Gate
I was, yes I was - Nigel Blackwell knows my name
I was, yes I was - I've met that Steve Lamacq
I was, yes I was - And one day I'll be back
I was in an indie band once


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: It Only Works Because You're Here
The phone rings nine times
Before he says 'Yes'
She's got a problem with Internet Explorer
And he's the Computer Desk
He waits and takes the lift to her floor and says
'Show me the problem then'
She's mildly mortified to find
That everything's working again
She flushes bright pink, which he thinks is wonderful
She feels like such a fool and so she says

It only works because you're here
Before you came it was broken
It only works because you're here
You've got my windows to open

Weeks pass and that's that
Until he gets in late one day
To see she's been and posted a
Post-It Note onto his screen that says
'Could you pop up when you've got a minute?'
He runs up five flights of stairs
To find her computer rebooting
And main site IT guy sat in her chair
He's red-faced and out of breath, which she thinks is wonderful
She knows he wanted to help her and so she says

It only works because you're here
Before you came it was broken
It only works because you're here
You've got my windows to open

So he pops in to see her when he's passing
And also when he's not
She's fairly sure that he feels something for her
But she can't say exactly what
He's nervous and he's shy
And that's part of the reason why
She likes him
But the vague chance of romance is not enough
Reason for her to stay
He can't believe it when he hears that she's leaving
From her whip-round wielding PA

There's not enough room on the card to fit
All the words that burn in his heart
She's leaving
It's horrible - he doesn't know what to do
Until at her leaving do he puts his hand to his heart and he says

It only works because you're here
Before you came it was broken
It only works because you're here
You've got my windows to open

She says 'Well you've left it a bit bloody late'
'So let's not waste time now - I think you're GRATE'
They kiss, crowd cheers
Main site IT guy goes home in a flood of tears


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: One Of The Walls Of My House Fell In
One of the walls of my house fell in
It's a problem that I've got to get fixed
I need to mix up some mortar, get paint, paper and water
And a whole lot of brand new bricks
But for now I'd rather sit in the bath
And have a moment feeling all forlorn
Because one of the walls of my house fell in
When I heard you slam shut the front door

And I hear tarpaulin flapping
Passers-by laughing
The scaffolding sways in the wind
One of the walls of my house fell in

I got dragged to the pub to get myself cheered up
By my friends who all said 'Never Mind'
'We can build a new wall with a brand new front door'
'To replace the one that she left behind'
'You can re-decorate, it'll be bloody GRATE'
And yes I know they were trying to help
I said 'Thanks very much, I feel much better' but
I still wish you weren't somewhere else

And I hear tarpaulin flapping
Passers-by laughing
The scaffolding sways in the wind
One of the walls of my house fell in

It's time to repair, rebuild and redesign
Feels like I've been doing this for most of my life

I've had a string of disastrous frontage collapses
My roof has often let in the rain
But as the years have gone by I've learnt to DIY
In fact I'm practically vocationally trained
I've got a bag of spare parts from fixing my wounded heart
I've got more Allen keys than MFI
I've got a well stocked toolkit, a wide range of drill-bits
It's like an NVQ in I'll be all right

So when my tarpaulin's flapping
And I hear passers-by laughing
When my scaffolding sways in the wind
It's time for rebuilding to begin

But despite the motivational speaking
I can't help feeling
My ceiling's still leaking


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home)
We turned up at the venue
The promoter said 'Great news guys –
You're headlining so you will be
On stage about midnight'
We groaned with calculation
And in unison realised
That meant we'd not be home until
Four hours past our bedtimes

He saw our faces drop and said
'Oh dear m'ducks, what's wrong?'
The only way we could explain
Was singing him this song:

We said we're old and we're tired and we want to go home
We're old and we're tired and we want to go home
Let me go home - I want to go home
Let me go home - I want to go home

The birthday party was in full swing
When I turned up at eight
I thought 'I'll have a couple of drinks'
'And not get home too late'
But I dillied and I dallied
Until after closing time
And I got swallowed by a mob
As thirty more revellers arrived

The hostess said 'You can't go now'
I said 'I fear I must'
Demanding explanations
I told her it's just because

I am old and I'm tired and I want to go home
I'm old and I'm tired and I want to go home
Let me go home - I want to go home
Let me go home - I want to go home

I'm missing Newsnight for this
I'm missing stacking up the dishes
I'm missing calling in the cat
And I miss my missus

Because when you are proper settled
And happily loved up
You'll find a marked decline in time
You need to spend in pubs

That's when you're old and you're tired and you want to go home
You're old and you're tired and you want to go home
Let me go home - I want to go home
Let me go home - I want to go home


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something
It feels like Leicester's trying to tell me something
And that something is 'Don't come back'
They seem afeared that I'll return with my guitar
And so they are
Redeveloping my past
And if you think that that sounds paranoid
I would draw your attention to the fact
That one by one each pub I've loved or played above
Has been demolished
Or turned into some flats

Feels like they're trying to knock down my life in rock
I wish they'd stop
Trying to knock down my life in rock
I wish they'd stop it

The Magazine got knocked down to build Halls of Residence
The Royal Mail is now a parking lot
They roofed over the Pump & Tap
And walled over the stage
And they created office space from the Durham Ox
The Physio is derelict, The Angel is a house
The Spreadeagle's just a hole in the ground
The Charlotte's just stopped going
Though all that still remained of my days there
Was Phil who still did the sound

It feels like they're trying to knock down my life in rock
I wish they'd stop
Trying to knock down my life in rock
I wish they'd stop it

And so I went to see the Council
In the banana buildings on Welford Road
Wherein I found the councillor for planning applications
Looked like me with a goatee
He said Hello
I am the you from an alternate universe
Where you never moved on from the same old pubs
Stuck in the past you never had adventures
Or made half the friends you have
And also never fell in love

So I've come here to knock down your life in rock
Don't try to stop
Me as I knock down your life in rock
Don't stop


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
Track Name: The Drummer's Lament (bonus track)
Drummers always have to drive
Then go and park the car
All on their own while the rest of the band
Are hanging out in the bar
And when they've finally struggled back
They'll find that all their kit
Is sat in boxes at the front of the stage
Exactly where they left it

Oh sing with me now
A story that's been sent
From the very depths of time
This is the drummers' lament

The drummer has to soundcheck first
And finish packing last
And worse than this, he cannot drink
Because he's driving back
Despite all this he'd never moan
He takes it on the chin
It makes no difference anyway
His microphone's not plugged in

Oh sing with me now
A story that's been sent
From the very depths of time
This is the drummers' lament

A drummer always says to his children
As Ringo said to Zac
"Don't do what it did son, you'll spend your
life sat at the back"

As Caeser said to Cleapotra
Whilst reclining in his tent
"If you bang me bongoes"
"I'll give you the drummer's lament"

All in all it's a bloody good job
That every percussionist
Gets to work out all his anger
By hitting things, hard, with sticks