Manchester review, Fri 30th Nov (2/12/01)

Mr Blue Sky himself...

Brilliant gig last night. A big crowd in the big room and a much more professional look about the whole TV Cameras set up (nice one Andy). There were few surprises - a rare outing for Albert Hammond was appreciated (Gus can walk round Disneyland safe in the knowledge that the moshpit was flowing from the very first song - Bob Wilson).There was a new "in-betweenie" that went along the lines of "you are the reason that Paradise lost" and it namechecked Barry Venison amongst others.

After previously playing 24 Hours, Novelty and Transmission, the lads continued to update their Joy Division back catalogue with a brilliant rendition of New Dawn Fades. Neil and Ken swapped axes for this one with Neil taking up the Albrecht/Sumner role whilst Ken played at being Hooky without the posturing.

I would like to think that some attention was paid to our recent Top 5 poll as pollwinner"A Country Practice"got its first outing in 2 years and runner up "Everythings AOR" got the honour of closing the set instead of the usual Trumpton Riots. I had a fleeting mid gig conversation with Biffo and Nigel treated us with an exhibition of his golf swing as he took his trusty 7 iron(?) on stage with him.

You may remember that the last time the biscuit called it a day, they were at the height of their powers.This year we have seen Editor's Recommendation get critical acclaim, BP voiceovers and big (if not truthful) Guardian features. At last night's gig there were touts on the door, something I've not seen in 10 years of following the band live. If this were to be the last waltz they could not have gone out with a better gig, I just hope that it isn't true (it's a bit early for obituaries yet - Gez).