EDitorial ± 4-Jul-2013

Half Man Half Biscuit, John Peel Centre

Some 27 years after I first saw them perform, I'm off to see the mighty Half Man Half Biscuit play a sell-out gig. Fittingly enough this is at the all-new John Peel Centre For The Creative Arts in nearby Stowmarket, as mentioned in JP's Desert Island Discs show. Go find it and listen to him talking about standing on the Stowmarket station platform.

After some intense support from one JD Meatyard, who namechecks the Pixies and finishes with a catchy little number about the situation in Palestine, here come HBHB, "four lads who shook the Wirral." Centre stage is the unsung national treasure that is Nigel Blackwell, a true poet. They're off to a cracking start with The Light At The End Of The Tunnel:

She stayed with me until she moved to Notting Hill
She said it was the place she needs to be
Where the cocaine is fair trade, and frequently displayed
Is the Buena Vista Social Club CD

Six tracks in they're doing Corgi Registered Friends leading into Bob Wilson Anchorman. Like headlines from The Onion, these song titles alone provide plenty of carats, and then you listen to the lyrics within. Jerry, this is comedy gold.

It's all going a bit lentil by the time All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit comes around, during which a lot of grown men are jumping around wearing their actual Dukla Prague Away Kits. Not pretty. One or two of the hardcore are also sporting Joy Division Oven Gloves. There's some retro goodness with the Fred Titmus and Trumption Riots encore, which bookend a perfectly straight (and, to me, unexpected) cover of Abba's SOS. Then the Probe Plus boys are off. Well played, chaps. Well played.