The Boardwalk, Sheffield, 19th February (20/02/04)

Mike Creswell:

If I were Stuart Hall, reviewing the evening's events for the N.M.E., I may be treating you to eloquent prose, such as; "A chilly but fair Yorkshire evening; the venue convivial but incommodious; the crowd euphoric and expectant; many of the cognoscente attired in home-team accoutrements; and, Nigel opening the batting in 2004 in a particularly loquacious mood".

Well, Hall may say that, but to revert to the vernacular, yet another memorable evening for one and all. It is always nice to see your favourite band in a venue small enough to be able to see the plectrum and if you are motivated that way, anoint your heroes in Yorkshire water.

HMHB gigs tend to follow certain rules, such as a hardcore but harmless mosh-pit, the customary appearance of Mr "What did God give us, Nigel" Man, the crowd pleasing "Fred Titmus" and sharp, witty comments from Nigel. I'm sure that he won't mind us repeating some of yesterday's gems, from a man on the very top of his game.

Once again, Nigel raised "Twenty Four Hour Garage People" to new heights, with some excellent improvisation. It is also good to see that extended putters are still frowned upon.

I now believe that "God Gave Us Life" is off the play-list, at least temporarily, because the lads quite enjoy the amusement provided by the Rotherham Postie and the fact that it narks three-quarters of the audience. However, the boy got a mention; "We came through Rotherham - twinned with San Quentin", and later in the evening, yet another "What did God give us" was batted back with "traffic jams".

Possibly a few snippets of new material? Nigel had a few little ditties for us, which may have been just a few odd verses, dreamed up whilst watching "Countdown", or maybe the blueprints of some new material. A nice little song about Bogus Officials and a reference to ending up being more like Arthur Lowe than Arthur Lee?

The short sermon on the "Book of Revelation" ("I've argued with vicars about this and ended up throwing a bottle of Domestos at one; I got done for a bleach of the priest") and "Mary Hopkin ("That was the day, my friend") was a treat.

An excellent set list, which spanned the years and the albums, with a special mention for those that always bemoan the absence of some songs from "Godcore" - you got one more than often in the past.

Anyway, here is my re-collection of the set-list, which may not be totally accurate, especially the placing of "Fred Titmus": -

Set List (My version)

Fretwork Homework
Yipps (My Baby Got The)
Quality Janitor
Fuckin' 'Ell, It's Fred Titmus
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)
Uffington Wassail
**** Interlude - Revelation/Mary Hopkin ****
If I Had Possession Over Pancake Day
Running Order Squabble Fest
Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years
The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman
**** Interlude - Bogus Official ****
Vatican Broadside
Tonight Matthew, I'm Going To Be With Jesus
Foot Up In Europe (From: I Went To A Wedding.....)
**** Interlude - Arthur Lowe, Arthur Lee ****
San Antonio Foam Party
Twenty Four Hour Garage People
P.R.S. Yearbook (Quick, The Drawbridge)
Ecclesiastical Perks
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Them's The Vagaries
Used To Be In Evil Gazebo
Bottleneck At Capel Curig
Everything's A.O.R.


Jarg Armani
Cover - "Another Girl, Another Planet" (The Only Ones)
I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)

Anyway, as usual, a good knowledgeable crowd and it was nice to meet up with some of the HMHB forumistas in "The Banker's Draft". Two requests, please - more gigs in 2004 and if you feel like giving me a real treat, how about an R.E.M. cover version some time soon?