Leicester review, Thu 11th May (16/5/00)

Alan Clifford:

They came, they saw, they made a lot of noise...yes the boys are back in town singing daft songs, making strange noises and behaving in a cheerily threatening manner. This is just the crowd you understand, because on stage HMHB's repertoire is so strong and the musicianship sufficiently elevated that words like 'daft' and 'strange' don't really come in to the equation, even though they remain the daftest, strangest bunch in any town. This town is Leicester, the venue is an extended Charlotte (sounds like a wrestling move Mr. Nagasaki may have perfected) now boasting a 390 capacity, and the evening goes with a golfing swing, as 'bass player' is instructed to use a 7 iron, it being a 150 yarder. How can you quantify what was yet another great gig? The set list was sufficiently varied from last time I saw them (Sheffield) to keep a surprise round each corner (except the ones with saxophones in), the atmosphere buoyed up by the moshers and even the bar staff noticed me and served me beer. Incidentally the cry for 'Doreen' was met with the rejoinder 'good call', so will it be back on the set list soon? And could they do Nove on the Sly live I wonder?

And, on the way home listening to Andy Kershaw, he starts his show with in his own words 'the best song of the year so far' 24 Hour Garage People (requested by a Huw Wheldon...wasn't he a TV presenter, who looked like an owl, with a fixation about the royal family, in the 1970's?)...perfect!