Manchester review, Fri 30th Nov (11/12/01)

David Jevans:

I know that playing the Manchester Student Union building is not really the heights of international music fame, but that did not stop this rabid fan from flying in from my home city of San Francisco, California to the drizzly climes of Manchester to witness the latest Half Man Half Biscuit gig.

Having followed the band for more than a decade now, it was great to see them playing to a full house, and to hear a set that spanned their musical history. From the fabulous sing-along Fred Titmus to the melodious Look Dad, No Tunes, every era was represented.

Once the mix was fully sorted out, the crowd began to rock. Even a tiny moshpit evolved up front, though it was devoid of corporate sponsor logos.

Particularly poignant was when the lads took a break from the madness to belt out a convincing version of Joy Division's New Dawn Fades. Even that dirge-like ballad was enlivened by a convincing display of Nigel's golf swing!

Happily, I ended the evening purchasing various trash and trinkets, and was somehow coerced into buying a Half Man Half Biscuit woolly hat, despite the complete dorkishness of its appearance. Imagine my delight to find it in my pocket on Sunday, when I found myself freezing my 'nads off on a steep mountain descent of Cadair Idris in deepest darkest Wales. I put on my chapeau and cheerily descended the mountain to the astonished stares of other ramblers. I swear I saw Fred Titmus up there at the top!