WE VALIDATE!

by MJ Hibbett & The Validators

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1.
Here come a herd of haircuts From the Corporate Indie scene Sheathed in black and leather jackets They sound like Primal Scream Think they're clever, saying everything's Trash and drab and wrong Their complaining does my brain in Makes me want to shout Come On Tell me something that you do like Tell me something you think's GRATE It's so dreary sitting listening To your vacuous complaints A pessimist is never disappointed But they are disappointing It's the smell of a life long coward Who'll never stand up for anything Especially if you're in a band You don't have to sing about girls Come on, use your imagination Stand up, stand tall, and tell the world Tell me something that you do like Tell me something you think rules Have the guts for once in your life To risk someone thinking you're not cool 'Cos you're not cool Examples of some topics you might wish to discuss: The feel of a freshly sealed envelope The smell of the pavement after rain A yellow tit in an urban garden Free tea and coffee on the train The rolling gait of Scooby Doo The new series of Dr Who Euros, Truro, Lego Bricks Come pucker up and give life a KISS And tell me something optimistic Tell me how things really are It is not being simplistic To use a bit of wit and charm To tell me something that you do like Don't make out your life's a trial Tell me something bloody brilliant Tell me something that will make me smile Come on and make me smile Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
2.
I was looking at my hands They were the hands of an old man Somewhere there's a pensioner running round with wrists that are not his Oh Lord and in the name of love Return to me the contents of my gloves I was looking at my face Looming like the warlike planet deep in deepest space With martian canal lines, a hint of polar ice When did the planet go cold? And when did it get so old? But, that said, I like being thirty All right, I like being in my thirties as I'm not quite thirty now Oh yes, I like Knowing what my mind is, and knowing that I'm right I was looking at my clothes Where did my days as a Dandy go? I'm dressed as if I'm going to a Parent Teacher Barbecue I used to cut a rug across the discotheques of Britain I stood proudly bequiffed but now most of my quiff is missing But then I thought about my friends I've got to say these days, they're all bloody GRATE I used to hang around with a right bunch of arsey pillocks I don't see them much nowadays but I can't say I miss them Oh yes, I like being thirty I like being in my thirties as I'm not quite thirty now I feel deeply satisfied Knowing what my mind is and knowing that I'm right When I was 24 I was pretty sure that I knew the score A snappy answer for each eventuality I thought I had it sorted but actually I didn't have a clue what to do with my life I still don't but now I don't mind I'm feeling good, I'm looking groovy You dare to doubt it? So sue me I was looking at my mind Glistening with fitness from the fountain of my life Still undergoing training in biography's gymnasium Every day in every way I'm becoming more applaudable than even I was yesterday And that's why It doesn't really matter if my hairline gets too high It's only making space for enlargement of the brain If my back aches it's 'cos I'm carrying The equipment of a stallion Oh yes, I like being thirty I like being in my thirties as I'm not quite thirty now I feel contented and free In a mental landscape where I'm happy being me Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
3.
I have never learnt to drive a vehicle I reckon how hard can it be? And I've never took the time It takes to learn to fly I'll work it out if there's ever a need Flemish is a language I can't chat in I'll learn it if I'm ever off to Brugges And similarly I cannot speak Latin I have had much better things to do Like walking in the park with you And talking in the dark with you These have been much better things to do Better things to do Well I've no idea how to route a network I've got no way to know which routers what And I've not been on a course To learn to program C++ I frankly could not give a toss for DOS And I'll drink whatever wine's put on the table With vineyards I find I've not got a clue And I'll rarely even read what's on the label I have got much better things to do Like watching DVDs with you And drinking cups of tea with you These have been much better things to do Better things to do La la la la la I could not be arsed To write some words to put into this part So la la la la la Better things to do Day dreaming in another dreary meeting I caught a glimpse of 2109 Where a grateful nation's wired up for hearing The final thoughts of their President For Life Someone said Lord Hibbett, do you have regrets, sir? I said yes I guess I must have had a few I'd've liked to ride more trams But otherwise Je Ne Regrette Riens I must have had much better things to do Like waking up at last with you And making time fly fast with you These have been much better things to do Better things to do Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
4.
Girlfriend alarmed By the power of our post-pub conversation I simply made a remark Bringing your reproductive system into question She's says that I went too far But we were like this before we even had loins to mention It's just the way we are We've been behaving this way since we were both eleven Look at all the other men in the pub They'll be talking like us Talking so loud, that you will never hear That the words we say Don't necessarily match the reasons we are saying them You've simply got to translate It into beer, then to football, into playground and back again You don't believe me, but hey Maybe that's the whole point, like it's a gigantic smokescreen For us to keep saying the same, Without an outsider understanding deeper meanings Look at all the other men in the pub They'll be talking like us Telling the stories we've told ten times before But none of us mind It's the way you tell it, not how up to date it is And anyway over time The stories change and evolve beyond the means of the journalist Like cave men out for the night We like to sit by the fire and tell the tales of our tribe and it's True, listen in and you'll find You'll be joining in next time when it gets to the good bit Look at all the other men in the pub They'll be talking like us Talking like us, 'cos when you think about it Men have been this way since the start of time When hunting mammoth there's no time for affection We've learnt a language rooted deep in violence So softer feelings creep in in disguise without detection It's not just girls we tease to tell them that we like them Some of my best friends - I've had to fight them I've got the scars to show how much some of my closer friends like me So there you go I wouldn't worry about me calling Neil an idiot He already knows I didn't mean it when I said he was feckless and ignorant You can ask him yourself But first I'll ring him to tell him it's OK to unmask me Oh yeah - he'd better, or else I'll be in trouble like all my forefathers before me Look at all the other men in the world They'll be talking like us To their girlfriends, Girlfriend alarmed Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
5.
In Peterborough was where I was raised And in my bedroom was where I spent most of my days On a ZX Spectrum, as I've previously mentioned So I did my 'A' Levels and I moved to Leicester Well, I met a few people, I made a few friends And this is the story about one of them So come with me now on a journey through time To when he moved to London, near the Northern Line I was going down to Balham When somebody said Let's go to Clapham And see the Gay Pride Festival there I got on the underground Didn't really understand The scene I'd see before me down there And there were lesbians to the left of me A gay choir to the right And two terrified tourists quivering with fright On the Gay Train On the Gay Train, in 1994 The carriage guard looked very frightened He wasn't being quite as enlightened As I was trying to be With Liberalism writ on my face Looking very hetero, just in case But no-one even tried to get off with me And there were lesbians to the left of me A gay choir to the right And two terrified tourists quivering with fright On the Gay Train On the Gay Train, in 1994 Then they let off all these balloons Each representing someone who They knew who had died of AIDS Everybody stopped acting quite so camp And I remember thinking to myself that that Was the most moving thing I'd seen all day And there were lesbians to the left of me A gay choir to the right And this terrified tourist suddenly felt all right On the Gay Train On the Gay Train, in 1994 As my mate Mileage's Dad would say It doesn't really matter if you're straight or gay All that matters is love And it's all love Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
6.
All that I was doing Was trying to sing my song But then I heard applause and I knew that you'd come on You did Deputy Dog You told the same old jokes And I never did get to sing my song And I thought you were my friend But now I feel like Sidney at the end Thought the show was over So I went and got my coat and cap on And put my things into a paper bag But when I came out I found you dancing with the dancing girls And yes, it made me sad Because I thought you were my friend And now I feel like Eric at the end On the road to Rio You and me and Dorothy Lamour I thought she loved me But she loved you more All your pratfalls All your demands and antics Drove me to drink and distraction so When I got the offer I went with Sam and Francis To the desert where we played the greatest show And now it's me who gets to sing and dance And I feel like Dino at The Sands Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
7.
You'd never take a map You'd never think of deviating From your list of junctions that Are your means of navigating With sandwiches and thermos flask No need to stop at service stations You've run your life like that Your confidence and faith's amazing But will you ever Start to think I wish I could have stopped more often Stopped and looked at wildlife centres Took a trip round national monuments Walked along a public footpath Me, I took the scenic route Had no idea where I was going Thatcher'd ripped up all the road signs And public transport's eyes were closing And though I'd never win the races Strolling home on Shanks's pony I talked to people and saw places That I'd never dreamt of knowing But will I ever Start to think I wish I hadn't stopped so often But put myself on firmer footings Paid my bills, spent more time working Early nights and forward thinking Your autobiography Was written arse to tit You wrote the final chapter first And worked backwards from it I've made mine up going along No clue what's coming next I guess my memoirs'll never have a Definitive accepted text I was too busy making facts to check That the whole thing overall made sense It makes no sense It makes no sense At least not yet My footwell's filled with souvenirs The paintwork's patched and dated The seats are ripped and stained with beer But it's a car that I've created And anyway our destinations Have always been the same And if I find you got there first You won't hear me complain And if I ever Start to think Should I not have stopped so often? I'll think of all those wildlife centres Trips I took round national monuments Friends I met on public footpaths Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
8.
They're saying Ronald Reagan was the Master Of Diplomacy 'Cos he ended the Cold War with only Thatcher there to help him They say he led the world in times that were more optimistic I don't know about you but that is not how I remember it The constant crushing certainty of nuclear oblivion Was ended by East Germans in Berlin not politicians When warmongers seek credit for a peace they didn't want They've one eye on the history books, the other's on the clock Well I was there and I will not forget The fight for history begins the day that Thatcher is dead The two-faced slip-on socialists who helped her stay in power Are riding round in company cars charging a thousand pounds an hour To reassure the wage slaves who think they're the wage slaves' masters That they're modern and creative whilst behind the drums beat faster And we've all got to pretend that we now like Edwina Currie And that Steven Norris wasn't a corrupt adulterous bully All the smiling lying psychopaths we finally deposed Are now creeping into reality TV and phone-in shows Well I was there and I will not forget The fight for history begins the day that Thatcher is dead Down in Soho all the preening pamphlet-headed peacocks Try to make out it's iconic wearing Council-hair and pop-socks And paint the Eighties as an age of decadence and glamour As if the miners' strike, the poll tax and BSE never happened As if Section 28 was never passed into the law As if Osama Bin Laden wasn't paid to fight our wars As if the institutionalised weren't turfed onto the streets Into a new society they said did not exist Well I was there and I will not forget The fight for history begins the day that Thatcher is dead And if you think it's past and put to bed You wait until the wave of lies the day that Thatcher is dead We will fight for history on the day that Thatcher's dead Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
9.
Mental Judo 04:08
I did a gig At a venue that was slightly too big For the six people who were there Including the other band As I said to them We should cherish being here as friends It isn't something that we will see again Said the promoter I said I do not care If there's never anybody else there I'm going to enjoy it for what it is Not not for what it isn't Mental Judo Let's enjoy for what it is This way we can hang around and chat and get pissed We might as well have some fun while we're alive Mental Judo For my birthday one year Two of my friends took me out for a beer They'd invited other people I knew To come and meet me I didn't mind That hardly any of them arrived But the other two spent the whole night Going on about it I said I do not care If there's never anybody else there I'm going to enjoy it for what it is Not not for what it isn't Mental judo This way a round'll be cheap And we'll be sure that we all get a seat When we go out dancing, 'cos we're going out dancing Mental judo Now I know this job Is not exactly your dream job But still, it pays the bills And you can keep looking And I know you'd like To be accompanied in bed at night You'd like to reach out and turn out the light And find another human being No, it's not fair That's there's never anybody else there But try to enjoy it for what it is Not not for what it isn't Mental judo Without responsibilities Why not apply to colleges? Why not jack it all in and do the something that you really want to do? Mental judo Go get a new career Go drink cheap student beer No mortgage, no boss No stress no work - no loss and On campus the chances Of finding new romances Are greater than they've been On the shopfloor, and on the dancefloor No, it's not fair That there's never anybody else there But try to enjoy it for what it is Not not for what it isn't Mental judo Stop yearning Start learning The only person stopping you from doing it is you so Mental judo Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
10.
The flat I used to have had two sockets per room So I had to juggle the white goods that I'd accrued My CD listening was spoilt because I'd always know Afterwards I'd have to reprogram my video Thus I existed with depleted Music Love Until I spent two pounds upon a Four Way Plug it was a Quality Of Life Enhancement Device (it makes life easy) Quality Of Life Enhancement Device I'd queue for hours to buy tickets for the train Now I can buy online within six working days I'd scold my hands by draining pasta with the lid My nightmare ended on the day I bought a sieve I would spend hours trying to sweep up my flat With a dustpan and hand brush, then I bought a mini-vac it was a Quality Of Life Enhancement Device (it makes life easy) Quality Of Life Enhancement Device www.qoled.com And yes this also functions as a metaphor For making little changes in life that make life much better or Appreciating all the smaller simple things in life That we normally don't appreciate and that is why I'm setting up a webpage to collect a few e.g.s E-mail me your suggestions for some QOLEDs Bring me your Quality Of Life Enhancement Device (it makes life easy) Quality Of Life Enhancement Device Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
11.
Morrisey, Marr and Barlow changed my life They made the kind of music that I said I didn't like Then one day I realised that I did Watching Take That, in fact, performing at The Brits Hearing Back For Good the first time I thought From now on, in life, I'll Like the things I like with an open heart The Krazy World Of Rock's an easy place to start From here on in I'll base my judgements not on baggage but on art And from that day a voice in my head Has come to me in times of doubt and said Remember the lesson of Take That If a pile of pillocks pretend to like it, doesn't mean it's crap And remember the lesson of The Smiths Just because a bunch of wankers like it, doesn't mean that it's shit You see, I didn't have that great a time in my later years at school I didn't really like anyone, least of all the kids who were cool I had to hate their music, and therefore The Smiths became the epitome of all that I abhorred But in later years, at Indie Discos, with jumper stretched and specs akimbo All I lacked was a quiff and a pocket of daffs I could have seen them playing live, but alas They split before my foolish pride decided not to be so daft And when I contemplate the great mistake I made A little voice pipes up to say Remember the lesson of The Smiths Just because a bunch of wankers like it, doesn't mean that it's shit And remember the lesson of Take That If a pile of pillocks pretend to like it, doesn't mean it's crap Now, I went out walking on a walk against a war And I noticed many banners had seen many walks before The usual cliques of Marxo-Anarchistic sods Who'll try to kidnap any demonstration, relevant or not Well I got so peeved I moved to leave when suddenly I heard A little voice inside me saying Hibbett, don't be such a berk Look beyond the gits and hippies and you'll see Two million people marching for something they believe So what if there's a thousand fuckwits here? Peace and love is still a bloody good idea And remember the lesson of Take That If a pile of pillocks pretend to like it, doesn't mean it's crap And remember the lesson of The Smiths Just because a bunch of wankers like it, doesn't mean that it's shit Oh yes, if you're dismissing things because they're in with some other crowd You will be the one who's missing out Don't wait for a retrospective, come on, get into it now Or you will be the one who's missing out Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing
12.
Here we are again Sitting in lines and singing the songs That we used to sing when we saw each other every day And afterwards we'll say How're you doing? How's the family? I didn't know you had another baby on the way And when did we become the kind of friends Who only ever meet in Church? We only ever meet in church Your Christmas Card arrived And I must say I'm surprised to find It's not from the cheapest packet in BHS It really is quite nice And inside is an invite to keep the weekend free At the start of August next And when did we become the kind of friends Who only ever meet in Church? We only ever meet in church It seems like only yesterday that we were at the christening Now somehow we're all sitting here again, laughing and listening To you giving the speech as the father of the bride In what seems like no time we're coming back Far Less of us now and now dressed in black Saying the same things we say every time Singing the same songs sat in the same lines And I wonder - when we did we stop asking Anything new and became trapped in aspic Friends for no better and for no worse Friends who only ever Met in church So here we are again Jumpered up in a country pub Celebrating nothing, except the fact that we're all here And afterwards we'll say If you're going don't forget to ring And let us know the next time you're coming round this way And don't let us become the kind of friends Who only ever meet in church Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

about

"when it comes to observational pop music few do it better than MJ Hibbett & The Validators".

- Steve Lamacq, Radio One


MJ Hibbett should be a British institution. He's the kind of singer you assume went out with Red Wedge and the Redskins, shuffling somewhere in-between Half Man Half Biscuit, John Cooper Clarke, Carter USM and Billy Bragg, singing songs called "Mental Judo" and "Quality Of Life Enhancement Device" in a broad Peterborough burr. Hibbett's songs are about meagre success ("I went to a gig/And the venue was slightly too big/For the six people who were there/Including the other band"), funny observations ("Flemish is a language I can't chat in/I'll learn it if I'm ever off to Bruges") and politician-bashing ("They say Ronald Reagan was the master of diplomacy... I dunno about you but that's not how I remember it"). Any nonsense is give short shrift, as opening track "Tell Me Something You Do Like" puts it neatly: "A pessimist is never disappointed/But they are disappointing".

The best track here, "The Lesson Of The Smiths", is a paen to how "Morrisey, Marr and Barlow changed my life", cocking its snoot at indie snobbery. Wonkily played and wonkily sung, it's unaffected, unpretentious, funny and stupidly entertaining. I Validate!

- Jude Rogers, Word Magazine


This is less an album, more a manual for life. For all this super-arch, hyped-up artrock, don't be fooled. MJ Hibbett's seen it all before and lived to tell the tale. If you want the secret of how to do the same, look no further than these finely crafted nuggets of pop wisdom. To put them over, the Validators find a new ferocity, they are fierce on 'Tell Me Something You Do Like' and inventive on 'We Only Ever Meet In Church' and are capable of very other nuance on the tracks in between, not least ripping off that Rourke/Joyce sound on 'The Lesson Of The Smiths'. One song, however, marks this album out above the rest. Anti-Thatcher songs are a great tradition in British pop music, but they died out somewhat after 1990. After all, how relevant can they be any more? Hibbett tells you how on 'The Fight For History': just wait for the tide of bullshit and lies proclaiming her Britain's greatest ever politician when she snuffs it. Those who remember the 1980s will want to take issue with it, and the battle-hardened Hibbett strikes the first blow here: he was there and he will not forget, and sets out litany of the damage she did. That David Cameron seems a nice enough bloke, is at least one subtext, but let's not forget the kind of people we're dealing with. That's just the highlight of one of 2006's most worthwhile albums. It is true. It is just. It is valid.

- John Kell, Artrocker


HIBBETT is a sane, reasonable man in an increasingly complicated world. His album with his cheery band The Validators unfurls a world of small victories, of not taking things too seriously - in short, of not letting the bastards get you down.

The fast-paced, acoustic guitar and violin-led songs are akin to Billy Bragg without the politics or grumpiness or Chris T-T without the rage.

He sings in an affecting, faux-naive lilt, of a happy life, of not quite changing the world, preferring to stay in and watch DVDs with his girlfriend, of achieving transcendence by buying, say, a new sieve - "quality of life enhancement device" - and of the little things that make life worth living, such as the new series of Doctor Who and free tea on trains.

But there is anger behind the make-do attitude - album highlight The Fight For History rails against the post-death beatification of right-wing leaders, "Warmongers take credit for a peace they didn't want."

Moving and sweet throughout, without ever becoming too twee or cloying, MJ Hibbett may be a self-confessed everyman, but his songs are a manifesto for living in this occasionally numbing, post-Thatcher "consensus."

- James Walsh, The Morning Star


The terms ‘life affirming’ and ‘inspiring’ have always been over-used in album analysis, so why bother bucking the trend? Luckily MJ is happy to buck it too with an record which would make a coma victim spring up before realising they needed to remember how to stand up, then grinning as they lie in a crumpled mess on the floor. Hideous unnecessary visions aside ‘We Validate!’ is a worthy addition to the Hibbert cult which stems from the type of crazy, informed eloquence that features elsewhere in this mag.

But as I said, this is inspiring. Not necessarily inspiring to make music like it but this acts like a syringe to the brain, his infectious humourous positivity seeping through the listener with unnerving speed. To name names the likes of ‘Tell Me Something You Do Like’ (a fantastic attack of lazy moaning songwriting which resonates nicely with me) and ‘Mental Judo’ (nice little tune embracing nights where no-one turns up) showcase his ability to speed out unfathomably good, upbeat lyrics before you can even digest them. What’s more the heartfelt nature and honesty of these songs, the fact that he clearly will stand and fight against the rose-tinted memory of the politically torrid eighties and does like the Smiths and Take That despite the wankers associated is a damn fine thing. And being able to mention BHS on a record without it sounding out of place is, somehow, a good thing.

The Validators do a fine job in backing him up for high-tempo strum alongs like ‘The Gay Train’ which, I attest, is perfect for swinging round those yellow poles on the tubes to without caring. Life-affirming? This simply inspires life to get better and better.

- Alex Lawson, Sandman

credits

released July 10, 2006

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MJ Hibbett & The Validators London, 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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