This was my first HMHB gig since leaving sixth form, back in the dark days of the Thatcher administration and my God, it is good to be back. I think the recent Peel tribute CD on Uncut, which featured Trumpton Riots, has done much to bring the faithful back into the fold and no bad thing too.
If there has to be a criticism, I would lay it at the door of the support band who took up way too much time and failed to bring anything to the party other than a lead singer who appeared to have modelled himself, in equal measure, on Tom Waits and Elton John.
The Biscuits however were superb; Nigel, ever the showman, resplendent in New Balance cycling jersey and with what appeared to be a mug of tea and a bag of cheese and onion crisps as his only concession to rider obstinacy. Without wanting to sound too 'fanboy', after seeing Morrissey far too many times over the last few weeks, it is a real pleasure to see a band who are quite happy to play for more than 90 minutes, are content to raid their back catalogue for any number of crowd pleasers (no PRS - shame), genuinely seem to be enjoying themselves and can muster the energy to do 3 monstrous encores. More power to their elbow.
I must also raise the issue of the mandatory galoot who kept up a chorus of 'what did God give us Ken', who mercifully, was greeted at one stage with a shout of 'an afternoon with your wife mate', which raised a chorus of hearty jeers from my side of the venue.
The highlight for me though, had to be getting hold of one of Nigel's set lists, that was dug out of his pocket towards the end of the evening. I can only presume that this was a means of him exercising a playful, kittenish wit or a situationist prank/plant courtesy of a very well informed member of the moshpit, but the following is written down in black and white before me as I write;
Corgi - Reg
Shit Arm... these have been neatly crossed out with an X and beneath has been written instead;
Walkin' on Sunshine
Theme from the Onedin Line
Kum Ba Yah
Ruby, don't take your love to town
Dance with the Devil
Albert and the Lion (a Stanley Holloway monologue as I remember)
Country Club (the Associates song?)
One Armed Scissor
Siegfried's Funeral March
Ugly Duckling (introduced by Mike Reid - 'terr-iffic''what a wilf')
Seven and Seven is
Total Eclipse of the Heart
I'm an Upstart