Thursday, 4 November 2010

283 HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT, plus support, Swindon Monkey Club, Saturday 10 December 1994


An unprecedented 3 gigs in a row at the Monkey Club; this time for Birkenhead's finest purveyors of utter nonsense Half Man Half Biscuit, whom I'd been a fan of back in the 80's thanks to their ramshackle, funny "Back In The DHSS" album and "Trumpton Riots" single, lost touch with thereafter, and consequently never seen play "live". This gig coincided with Tranmere Rovers' 2-2 draw at the County Ground that afternoon - coincidence? I very much doubt it...

Anyway, a packed Monkey Club firstly had to cope with the dull retro 80's pop of the support band; I didn't catch their name as I was too busy playing pool with Ady (and losing. Bah!).

Popped down the front for HMHB, who came on at 20 to 10 - presumably so they could be finished in time to watch "Match Of The Day"! Vocalist Nigel Blackwell, a determinedly ordinary bloke, led this ramshackle rabble through a splendid sounding set whilst munching crisps (!) and fending off shouts of "John Aldridge is a wanker!" (his response to that being, "no he's not! Well, he probably is, actually...") The set made me regret I'd lost touch with them, as most of the "newer" stuff was wild, witty and wonderful, with "4AD 3D CD", "Sensitive Outsider" ("and I want the world to know!") and "Friday Night And The Gates Are Low" (a tribute both to Abba and Tranmere Rovers' 1980's Friday evening home games!) the best of this new bunch. "Fucking Hell, It's Fred Titmus" (unplanned but played anyway as it was the most popular shout from the crowd!) capped this most entertaining evening superbly, as HMHB showed other indie satirists, such as Sultans Of Ping et al, that there's life in the old 'uns yet!

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