Half Man Half Biscuit

It is eight years since I last saw HMHB. They are not the most prolific touring band and when they play, I always seem to be double booked. Since I last saw them they have released three albums. So tonight’s gig at the Cambridge Junction was full of new songs.

Earlier in the day while exploring Cambridge and remembering that there isn’t much to see in Cambridge. HMHB were mentioned on Radio 5’s Fighting Talk, who asked the panelists for a song that mentions a sports star, with Eleanor Oldroyd picking Bob Wilson Anchor Man. Weird coincidence, but it helped get me into the mood causing me to re listen to their latest album

As is usually the case. The band didn’t take themselves too seriously. Both themselves and the audience seemed to be really up for the gig with a lot of banter between the two and frequent breaks in music as Nigel returned quips with the audience. Despite it being a mainly older audience, the few younger people in the audience, started a mosh fairly early on and the atmosphere throughout the gig was really good. Both playing off each other.

The set list reflected their entire back catalogue. I think there is pretty much a song off every one of their albums. The set list mixing fan favourites with some less heard gems. I have to admit, the last few albums haven’t grabbed me too much. But with the songs sitting amongst the more well known songs (or at least to me), many of the new songs took on a new life. None of them felt out of place rubbing shoulders with Trumpton or Fred Titmus.

Fittingly for the start of the World Snooker tournament, the Len Ganley Stance got an outing. It did make me wonder how many of the 80s cultural references in HMHB songs are understood by the younger fans. But I also reflected on the much needed absurdity HMHB bring to music and why they have such a dedicated following. I mean, who writes a song about a snooker referee?

The evening flew by in no time. Next time, I will not let 8 years pass before I next see them.

  • She’s In Broadstairs
  • Running Order Squabble Fest
  • Bob Wilson Anchor Man
  • Bane Of Constance
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Full Of Bad Wools
  • Petty Sessions
  • Awkward Sean
  • Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
  • I’m Getting Buried In The Morning
  • Renfield’s Afoot
  • The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman
  • A Lilac Harry Quinn
  • Vatican Broadside
  • Dickie Davies Eyes
  • The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train
  • The Len Ganley Stance
  • Rogation Sunday’s Here Again
  • Every Time A Bell Rings
  • Terminus
  • Midnight Mass Murder
  • All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
  • The Trumpton Riots
  • For What Is Chatteris
  • National Shite Day
  • We Built This Village On A Trad Arr Tune
  • Joy Division Oven Gloves
  • Oblong Of Dreams
  • Another Girl Another Planet
  • Everything’s AOR