The Robin 2, Bilston, Thu 31st August 2006 (01/09/06)

Stuart Estell:

Songs (in no particular order - and there was one I didn't recognise too):

Irk The Purists
The Light at the End of the Tunnel
When the Evening Sun Goes Down
For What is Chatteris
Them's the Vagaries
Running Order Squabble Fest
Secret Gig
Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo
Joy Division Oven Gloves
Fuckin' 'Ell It's Fred Titmus
Reflections in A Flat
Trumpton Riots
I Hate Nerys Hughes
Everything's AOR
Tending the Wrong Grave for 23 Years
Bad Review
Vatican Broadside
24 Hour Garage People
Look Dad No Tunes
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
San Antonio Foam Party
Corgi Registered Friends
Twydale's Lament
We Built This Village on a Trad Arr. Tune

Highlights for me:

An at times frantic, rough but good-natured moshpit.

A couple of middle-aged women stood at front getting increasingly enraged as hyperactive shouting fat people crashed into them throughout the gig. Handy hint: if there are hyperactive fat people crashing about, get out of the way of the hyperactive fat people.

Footprints! - never heard that live before - Neil on guitar and Ken on bass. Really excellent Velvets-y groove to this.

Nigel seemed very relaxed. Lots of banter - "A professional entrance as usual." He had a chat with one guy about places to go walking in Cornwall. After a lengthy attempt at tuning the caravan guitar, which had Ken and Neil shaking their heads, he said "I quite enjoyed that actually. It used to get me all flustered."

24 Hour Garage People - Pringles £1.06 and 89p - new comedy section in which the petrol station attendant's iPod is on shuffle and Nigel sets off a miked-up ghetto blaster playing MOR rock tunes (inc. "We Built This City on Rock & Roll" and "More than a Feeling"). The rest of the group were as amused as we were - I caught Neil's eye and he shook his head and laughed.

Nerys Hughes - utterly savage

The whole group - Nigel particularly - channeling the spirit of Joy Division in Transmission better than New Order could ever hope to. A proper "Tonight Matthew..." moment, Nigel unashamedly doing a vocal impression of Curtis. Unnervingly accurate. While wearing his caravan-shaped guitar.

Chatteris was lovely, San Antonio is now a firm favourite with everyone, I think. Shit Arm got a good reception - I like this song now, it's much better live, if only for hearing a roomful of people bellowing "THERE'S NO 'S', IT'S THE BOOK OF REVELATION". Joy Division Oven Gloves has grown on me as well.

23 Years is apparently a true story, according to Nigel: "This is a true story, it actually happened to a bloke in Lincoln." Hilarious bird noises from Ken on his guitar which Nigel dismissed: "what I wasn't expecting was a school of dolphins to arrive."

AOR finished the main set - blistering. Some of the guys at the front seemed to be doing actions to it, particularly for the "swivel chair" and "I can put a tennis racket up against my face and pretend that I am Kendo Nagasaki" bits.

Nigel didn't even bother with the line "FUCKIN' 'ELL, IT'S FRED TITMUS", and left it to the audience!

Ken led audience handclaps in When The Evening Sun Goes Down!

One other thing: it was particularly excellent that there was no support. HMHB were on stage at 9, everyone went home happy.