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Blog: There's People Who Can't Spell 'Weird' Right Driving Round With Thousands In The Bank

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It was SOUTH to Didcot last night, to meet Tim The Celebrity Drummer, and then NORTH again to Stafford, to see Half Man Half Biscuit. As seems to be their WONT their were playing the sort of place you never otherwise would THINK of going to see bands, a HUGE aerodrome ESQUE venue that was part of a Social Club, in the middle of an Industrial Estate, which we found by following very explicit directions (featuring photographs of the road signs we needed to follow!) and, nearer the venue, extra signs pointing to "Half Man Half Biscuit". I couldn't understand why anyone would need such a vast space somewhere so far away from any houses, but there you go.

When we arrived the support act was being ignored about 5 miles away at the other end of the room, and we were AFEARED for the sound quality to come. We were also A Bit Surprised by the VARIETY of people there. There were The Usual t-shirt clad regulars who looked, basically, like me and Tim, and there were quite a few people who looked like they were club members who'd popped in to see what was going on. As it other recent Biscuits gigs tho, there was a sizeable proportion of YOUNG PEOPLE, even including WOMEN - much more so, in fact, than at most other indie gigs I go to. In fact, they were generally the same sort of age i was when I first heard "Back in The DHSS", except rather than listening to them on a tape done by their friend Mileage (or equivalent) they were LEAPING about singing every word throughout the set. I don't know how this has happened, but it is GRATE!

Anyway, yes, the band came out in a BILLOW of white smoke and/or dry ice, it looked WELL PROPER... then spent five minutes trying to plug things in or looking confused at a twisted lead, which lessened the effect somewhat. Worries about sound quality were immediately WAYLAID, as they sounded FANTASTIC! Again, the last few gigs have seen a HEADLONG RUSH into them becoming a ROCK outfit, it is strange, but the Actual Musicality of the live band is INCREDIBLE these days. Nowadays they could get away with doing cover versions and still be ace - I'm glad they don't, obviously, and last night was 90 minutes of ACE SONG after ACE SONG. They did "Turned Up, Clocked On, Laid Off" which is one of my all time favourites, though no "Country Practice" - as discussed on the way home, them being them they could have done 90 minutes of completely different songs and still been ACE.

It was really really GOOD, and EXCITING even - if HMHB were any other band, especially one 15 years younger, and if they had drearier lyrics, you'd have come away convinced that they'd be The Next Big Thing. As it is, much like Otway, you come away GRATEFUL to know about them, and HAPPY that slowly but surely, more and more people are getting into them. It was BRILLIANT!

posted 8/7/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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