The Tower Lounge, Blackpool, Fri 23rd November (25/11/07)

Roger Green:

Things were off to a promising start when I saw the band advertised in the Tourist Information Centre as "Half Man And Half Biscuit". Splits within the camp? And the Blackpool Gazette was enthusiastic in its preview, referring to the "fully qualified indie kings from the early 80s". However the town itself was a bit of a disappointment. Most things seemed to be closed on the front, so the chances to win a toy duck were distinctly limited. The trams weren't running, and there was no access to any of the piers, so the short-term tourist had to settle for a mid-afternoon visit to the Art Gallery (free, of course) and a general mooch round the middle of town. Best pub was The Victoria where I got caught up in a debate with the locals on the year when Seasons In The Sun topped the charts. The Mitre was fine as well - listening to the guys in the other side of the pub made me wonder if HMHB lyrics have replaced Monty Python sketches as the thing to learn and recite out loud. Less good news at The Counting House where I was turned away for wearing a football top (Honved). It seemed like a good idea to move on to the venue. One last gripe. Did anyone else get hit with a "Service Charge" and an extortionate "Processing Fee" when you bought your tickets? Nice.

As usual I'm not going to guess at the number in attendance. Caught up with Paul and Gillian and ended up in a truly awful bar afterwards with half a dozen others, being watched by security while we listened to the splendid music they were playing (not). And I'm sorry to the guy who I talked to, having seen you at the Manchester and Exeter gigs - I really am the worst at remembering names. After a long summer listening to a mixture of Herman Dune, George Formby, Crass, Jeffrey Lewis, The Lodger and The Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band, there was a danger that I would also forget some of the song titles tonight. But I think I got through OK.

Restless Legs
Fuckin' 'Ell It's Fred Titmus
For What Is Chatteris
Running Order Squabble Fest
Bad Loser On Yahoo Chess
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Bottleneck At Capel Curig
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Tending The Wrong Grave
Bob Wilson Anchor Man
Vatican Broadside
Look Dad No Tunes
He's On The Roids
Shit Arm Bad Tattoo
Paintball's Coming Home
Evil Gazebo
Them's The Vagaries
Gouranga Gouranga
Outbreak Of Vitas Geralitis
All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
We Built This Village On A Trad Arr Tune
Everything's AOR

And three in the encore

A Song From Under The Floorboards
Joy Division Oven Gloves
Trumpton Riots

Biggest surprise was that "Garage People" got dropped. But there's always next time. Also looks like a new album will be out early(ish) in 2008.