Preston, 8th December 2005 (9/12/05)

Roger Green:

Somebody, somewhere tell me that there is a greater band operating somewhere on this planet of ours. Having seen HMHB once or twice down the years, I am left wondering if I seen them play better than this. It's probably because of the alcohol haze, and maybe it's down to the introduction of a couple of tunes that they don't play very often (and one, in particular, that I'm sure I have never seen them play before), but this was a fine evening's entertainment. Unfortunately for the individuals concerned, there were a few familiar faces from the usual crowd who were missing tonight.

I'm guessing that this place used to be a mill in the old days. Now it's a club type venue with strategically-placed pillars to block your view. And it's surprising how few people in the locality know where it is. Thanks a lot to the painter/decorator bloke who pointed me in the right direction. It's another packed out joint (capacity 400 plus??) that possesses a killer swing-door with the capacity to take out half a dozen punters at a time.

Support was from The Condor Moments, a keyboard/bass/drums trio. Can't say a lot more about them and it's maybe not possible to give them a fair hearing when they are supporting HMHB, but they would be worth checking out again.

The main turn came on at around nine o'clock and it was another two-hour work-out, as follows.

Restless Legs
For What Is Chatteris?
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Third Track Main Camera
Monmore Hare's Running
CORGI Registered Friends
99% Of Gargoyles
Foot Up In Europe
Deep House Victims Minibus Appeal
Uffington Wassail
Vatican Broadside
San Antonio Foam Party
Albert Hammond Bootleg
Twenty-Four Hour Garage People (including a scandalous £14.20 for the crisps!!)
PRS Yearbook
Look Dad No Tunes
Running Order Squabble Fest
Shit Arm Bad Tattoo
Four Skinny Indie Kids
If I Had Possession Over Pancake Day
Lark Descending
Twenty-Seven Yards Of Dental Floss
Fred Titmus
I Think We're Alone Now
We Built This Village
Trumpton Riots

Three songs in the encore:

It's Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas
Joy Division Oven Gloves
Everything's AOR

There were also several shouts for Season Tickets, and I'm sure I heard the opening few bars to The Fall's Joker Hysterical Face at some point.

This is a band on top of their game. You wonder how far things can go as they now seem to be as popular ever. The days of upstairs gigs in pubs in Doncaster are long gone, and these days you wouldn't want to turn up on spec without a ticket. But let's hope for more of the same next year.