Cheltenham review, Thu 11th March (15/3/99)

Stuart Fairbrother:

After a busy recent schedule, by their standards, Half Man Half Biscuit now take a two month break from gigging (not quite true, as it turns out! - Gez). Their performance at the Axiom last night ensured that fans will not drift in that two month spell as we wait with interest to see how many new songs will appear come May.

I think a bit of Spring cleaning may be in order as regards the set-list, not a clearout of immense proportions, but an injection of freshness in a similar vein to "A little bitta Knuckle" wouldn't go amiss. Perhaps it's time to "fill the skip" boys.

Having said that if they hadn't played TITMUS, TRUMPTON and TIME FLIES BY I don't think anyone would have moved last night. A very stationary bunch, the Cheltenham crowd; unaware, it appears, of the last couple of albums.

A crisp, clear sound offered a contrast to the dark, smoke-filled room that is the venue. The boys appeared very laid back and at times it seemed like a rehearsal. Loads of banter from Nigel the best of which had to be, " A message to lazy farmers, pick your own fuckin' strawberries".

Highlights were TURN A BLIND EYE, KNUCKLE (still don't know what this will be called) and the crazed lunatic who having stood still at the bar for an hour suddenly burst into a frenzy of violent, air guitar, epileptic style dancing all on his own for the whole of TRUMPTON RIOTS and then, on it's conclusion, sloped off to stand still at the bar for the last 20 minutes.