M J Hibbett

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. They’ve had a bloody good time doing it too.

The band were formed in 1999 when MJ Hibbett recruited Tim Pattison from indie rock legends Prolapse on drums and Frankie Machine on bass to record a single, ‘Born With The Century’. They enjoyed it so much they went on to record a whole album, ‘Say It With Words’, which featured the first ever internet single ‘Hey Hey 16K’.

They were joined in 2000 by Tom McClure on violin and then by Emma Pattison on backing vocals. Emma’s first ‘gig’ with the group was at her own wedding, singing a song she and MJ Hibbett had written as a surprise for her husband Tim.

Their next album, ‘This Is Not A Library’ was named ‘Record Of The Year’ in 2003 by Rolling Stone’s Well Hung At Dawn column. Even now, none of the band are quite sure how this happened.

In 2004 ‘Hey Hey 16K’ became one of the world’s first viral hits, when Rob Manuel of b3ta.com created a video for it. It had over two million downloads in its first fortnight of release and became an international phenomenon, was featured on television and in print all over the world and was even played at that year’s Gay Pride festival in London.

Shortly after that Steve Lamacq invited MJ Hibbett to become his show’s European Football Championship correspondent, writing a new song every week. He returned to the show at Christmas to perform ‘The Advent Calendar Of FACT’ written specially for the occasion.

The next year The Validators released a ‘Rest Of’ compilation, ‘Warriors Of Nanpantan’ and MJ Hibbett was approached by a major publisher to write his rock memoirs. Unfortunately the editor in charge was fired (for coming up with stupid ideas for books) before any contracts could be signed, but the stories collected would come in useful later on.

The band’s third studio album, ‘WE VALIDATE!’, was released in 2006 to rave reviews and radio play. Artrocker called it ‘2006’s most worthwhile album’, The Morning Star said it was ‘a manifesto for living’ and The Word said ‘MJ Hibbett should be a national institution’. The Validators performed a live Maida Vale session for Radio One and then headed out on a ten date national tour. Steve Lamacq played the session version of ‘The Lesson Of The Smiths’ as the last song on his final Lamacq Live show, which helped it get to number 41 in that year’s Festive Fifty.

MJ played sixty gigs in 2007, including a storming Validators’ set at Indietracks in Derbyshire and an appearance supporting Echo & The Bunnymen on ukelele at the Cornbury Festival. Ukeleles became a theme as he produced his first proper solo album, ‘A Million Ukeleles’, featuring Phil Wilson of The June Brides on banjo and mandolin. This limited edition album sold out within a fortnight, and tracks were played on Radio One, XFM, Dandelion, and various BBC local stations.

There were even more gigs – seventy two – over the course of 2008, including a highly successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe with the autobiographical show ‘My Exciting Life In ROCK’, based on the stories MJ had collected for his aborted autobiography.

In 2009 The Validators released ‘Regardez, Ecoutez Et Repetez’, the first record by an ‘unsigned’ band to be featured as Album Of The Day on BBC 6Music. They went on a self-booked national tour and were delighted to have their single ‘My Boss Was In An Indie Band’ make it into the lower reaches of the Dandelion Radio Festive 50.

While all that was happening MJ Hibbett was back at the Edinburgh Fringe with a new show called ‘Dinosaur Planet’. In 2010 he re-worked it into a two-man show which he and his friend Steve Hewitt took back to the Fringe and the toured around the country. Meanwhile The Validators had gone into the studio to start recording the show as a full-cast rock opera, a project which would take over two years of hard work to fully realise.

Never one to take time off, MJ Hibbett wrote a new show for the 2011 Fringe, ‘Moon Horse vs The Mars Men Of Jupiter’. Radio One described him and Steve, aptly, as ‘like two drunk Dads at a barbecue’, and once more the show took off on tour around the UK. Their final sell-out shows at the Leicester Comedy Festival were released as a series of podcasts, downloaded by thousands of fans.

The album ‘Dinosaur Planet’ was finally completed in late 2011 and released in early 2012. It was launched with a mini-tour of Germany and a gala show in London featuring most of the cast. Realising that the traditional music press might not be quite ready for an hour long science fiction rock opera concept album about space dinosaurs they reached out to the science and science fiction world, and had rave reviews in publications as diverse as The Smithsonian Magazine, SFX, The Word, The Chartered Institute Of Library Professionals’ Magazine, Comics Alliance and The Peterborough Evening Telegraph. A string of videos went online, generating thousands of hits, and the band found themselves with a whole new following of under-10s who discovered it through their parents and YouTube.

Their latest album Still Valid was released in May 2016.

Web Site: www.mjhibbett.com

Tracks:

  • Things’ll Be Different (When I’m In Charge)
  • The Fair Play Trophy (Again)
  • Billy Jones Is Dead
  • City Centres
  • The Primal Rhythms Of The Bolivian Nose (…)
  • Let The Weird Band Win
  • Easily Impressed
  • Give Us A Kiss (For Christmas)
  • The Merchant Of Ivory Punks
  • Graffiti On The Cenotaph
  • Missing The Misery
  • I Come From The Fens
  • Call The Lyric Police
  • Praise The Traffic Warden
  • The Black Hair And Glasses Brigade
  • Payday Is The Best Day
  • Stop, Look And Listen
  • Where Is My Torch?
  • Born With The Century
  • Hey Hey 16K
  • Say It With Words
  • If You’re Too Turned On
  • Where Do All The Women Go To?
  • The Saturday Lunchtime Wrestlers
  • Carol And The Mandolin
  • Would If I Could
  • The Pebble And The Boulder
  • Wings Of Fire
  • The Symbol Of Our Nation
  • Falling For Trust
  • Last Orders
  • Holdalls Is The New Name For Midland Mainline (…)
  • The Girl Who…
  • Fat Was A Feminist Issue
  • Good Cooking
  • The Back Of The Sofa
  • Make The World Go Blind
  • Nothing In Common, Except, Maybe
  • Post-Subsonic Bass
  • You Will Be Hearing From My Solicitor
  • Everything’s Turning Out All Right (Everything)
  • BBC 2 (A New Hope)
  • One Last Party
  • A Million Ukeleles
  • Dinky Doo
  • Another True Story
  • Another Man’s Laundry (Hanging On Your Line)
  • Before I Was Cool
  • Better Things To Do
  • Born Yesterday
  • Breaks In The Journey
  • Closer To You
  • Clubbing In The Week
  • Dino At The Sands
  • Family Wedding 2021
  • Fucking Hippy
  • Girlfriend Alarmed
  • Hey William
  • Hibbett’s Golden Rules Of Beer
  • If You Need Loving
  • I’ve Got What You Need
  • Leave My Brother Alone
  • Looking At My Hands
  • Mental Judo
  • Mr Right
  • Red And White Sockets
  • Ring Your Mother
  • Rock & Roll Mayhem
  • Sod It, Let’s Get Pissed
  • Tell Me Something You Do Like
  • The Fight For History
  • The Gay Train
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • The Only Thing
  • The Other Rush Hour
  • The Perfect Love Song
  • The Peterborough All-Saints Wide Game Team (…)
  • The Same Page On The Map
  • Walkman In My Head
  • We Are The Validators
  • We Only Ever Meet In Church
  • We’ll See What We Can Do
  • Work’s All Right (If It’s A Proper Job)
  • Zipcodes
  • Quality Of Life Enhancement Device
  • The Advent Calendar Of Fact
  • The Drumer’s Lament
  • Chips And Cheese, Pint Of Wine
  • Control Alt Delete
  • Down The Narborough Road
  • Hell On Earth
  • Honey Honey You Work Too Hard
  • I Did A Gig In New York
  • Never Been Superstitious
  • Pass it On
  • Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time
  • Save A Meadow
  • She Tastes Like Sugar
  • The Story Of My Life
  • Don’t, Darren, Don’t
  • (Theme From) Dinosaur Planet
  • A Little Bit
  • The Theory Of A Dinosaur Planet
  • Here Come The Dinosaurs
  • My Grandad Is Nuts
  • The Battle For Peterborough
  • My Theory Of A Dinosaur Planet
  • We Are The Giant Robots
  • Dinosaurs Talk Like Pirates
  • We Are The Dinosaurs
  • It Isn’t Nice To Eat Your Friends
  • For The Fate Of The Earth
  • A Little Bit More
  • I Got You What You Want For Christmas
  • Hang Up The Moon
  • Bonkers For Conkers
  • Candida
  • Data Sea Shanty
  • Data Storage Thing
  • Get Together
  • Good Luck In Your New Job
  • Hey Hey 64k
  • Hibbett’s Superstore
  • Honey Honey You Work Too Late
  • Hoo Haa
  • Megane’s Song
  • Never Been Superstitious
  • Please Don’t Eat Us
  • She’s The Lady On Your Radio
  • Soup
  • Strangley Attractive
  • The Architects Of Our Dreams
  • The Ballad Of Alan Moore
  • The Story Of My Life
  • When Do I Start?
  • I’m Saying Yes
  • A Very Special Relationship
  • Geoffrey Livingstone
  • Let’s Have A Go
  • Moon Horse
  • Only A Robot
  • That Was Margaret Thatcher
  • The Price Was Your Mistake
  • We Did It Anyway
  • We’ll Be Such Friends
  • We’re Privatising Everything
  • We’re The Mars Men Of Jupiter
  • We’ve Done Something Evil
  • Who The Heck Are You?
  • Good King Wencelas
  • Little Donkey
  • The Flashing Santa
  • The 29th Day Of Christmas
  • Thank Goodness For Christmas
  • I’m Due A Deuchars, You’re Due A Deuchars
  • When Do I Start?
  • Alan
  • Save The Red Squirrel
  • Easy Christmas
  • Burn It Down And Start Again
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • 20 Things To Do Before You’re 30
  • That Guy
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • I Dream Of Superheroes
  • Worse Things Happen At Sea
  • In The North Stand
  • History’s Re-Written
  • I Think You Might Be Me
  • The Future Is Amazing
  • I Wish That I Was Normal
  • Dad Jokes
  • A.D.A. Lovelace
  • Leaping Hare in Broadgate
  • The 1980s How It Was
  • Hills And Hollows
  • 20 Things To Do Before You’re 30
  • Can We Be Friends?
  • That Guy
  • In The North Stand
  • Burn It Down And Start Again
  • (You Make Me Feel) Soft Rock
  • Hills And Hollows
  • The 1980s How It Was
  • I Want To Find Out How It Ends
  • We Did It Anyway
  • Get Over It
  • Going Down
  • Rose Tinted Glasses
  • Learn To Ignor
  • Alison Alien