Manchester, Fri 28th November (01/12/03)

Chris Cole:

"SOLD OUT-MOVED TO ACADEMY ONE" read the hastily prepared sign on the door of the smaller Manchester University Students Union , the "usual " venue. Luckily the larger venue is only a couple of hundred yards away, so a short walk follows, with the usual approaches from hopeful touts trying to make a fast buck.

The gig opens with an American singer songwriter who is mildly amusing; then the excellent Hovis Presley takes the stage and entertains with rapid fire poems, jokes and oneliners. His put down of a neanderthal heckler is postively inspired.

And so on to the main act. The band opens with "Sealclubbing"-was it pure coincidence that Hovis alluded to this particular activity during his set?

A set including most of the favourites follows (no "Dukla" or "Trumpton" but that's a very minor niggle) and as has become customary Nigel improvises on some of the songs, adding extra words to "Paintball" and "Garage People", while a reference to "Harping on about that drop kick" during "Evil Gazebo" elicits one of the loudest cheers of the evening. Several of the newer songs from the latest EP are performed and as usual the evening passes far too quickly.I don't know what happened at the end of the set as the band don't play an encore but finish with a storming version of the Buzzcocks classic "What Do I Get" - this could be due to the fact that the people who run The Academy are sticklers for finishing on time.

Another great night. Here's to the next time.