Wolverton Review (2), Fri 28th May (31/5/99)

Chris Rouse tells of a day in the life of his family:

I was a HMHB fan years ago, I bought Back in the DHSS when it came out. I remember taping the Peel sessions off the radio and trying to work out the lyrics and references. I must admit I lost interest after the release of "Let's Not" and the break up of the band. I vaguely remember the reforming but I guess I didn't take a lot of notice (obviously enough to notice Let's Not, released after the reformation! - Gez).

Why go to the Wolverton gig? Well, I live in Stony Stratford which is about a mile from Wolverton and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. A chance to re live some of the old memories. During the week leading up to the gig I'd driven my missus, Tracey, mad with the playing of Back in the DHSS and ...Again in the DHSS - although she had agreed to go with me. My Dad also took the opportunity to see the creators of the much played ...Fred Titmus. We also took with us my brother-in-law and two of his mates - not because they were particularly interested in the band but because they are renting a flat about two minutes walk from Zak's.

The lead up to the gig was great with Tracey declaring that she thought that I was weird when we first met because I liked HMHB - she'd never heard of them. The three lads all in their early twenties didn't have a clue about the band so my Dad and I tried to describe what it was all about - quoting lines from songs as necessary. We arrived at Zak's to see a blue van outside and laughed as we read the the writing on the side "Birkenhead Van Hire." The gig itself was brilliant - Nigel appeared to be on fine form - not that I'd ever seen him before, except for an appearance on the Whistle Test (which I still have on video). The first song ...Fred Titmus was excellent - how many memories did that bring back? I looked about me to see Tracey and my Dad smirking and my brother in law and his mates laughing hysterically. Next up came Four Skinny Indie Kids a song that I'd never heard before but have found myself singing all day!! Then it was; Vitas, You're Hard, Best Things in Life, Venus in Furs, Paintball, C. Practice, Dead Men, Squabble, Feedback, Turned Up/Yips, Met Bar (Knuckle), Blind Eye, Friday Night, Secret Gig, Bad Review, Gubba, Time Flies By, Dukla Prague and then the encore of; Albert Hammond Bootleg, Lineman and Trumpton Riots.

How do I know all of this when I only bought the first two albums and hadn't heard the majority of the songs before? Well, after the gig when Nigel and the rest of the band were packing up, Tracey, not deterred by rock stars, decided to go onto the stage and tell the band how she had enjoyed the show. During the conversation she was given the running order, autographs - all addressed to me, a drum stick and a plectrum.

Once the band had finished and packed away we stayed on for another drink then left Zak's. Once outside we saw that the Birkenhead Van was still there and that the band were getting ready to leave. We all went over and Tracey continued chatting with Nigel, his wife Denise and the rest of the band. I joined in, although a bit pissed, and brought up the Tube versus Tranmere Rovers story! We had a great laugh. The gig was brilliant and there are another four HMHB converts. We went back to Mike's (brother-in-law) flat and bashed out a dodgy version of the Trumpton Riots with me and my Dad on guitars and Mike on the drums. That's about it. I'm off out tomorrow to see if I can get some of the other albums.