Coronation Hall, Ulverston, Cumbria 17th April 2008 (19/04/08)

Roger Green:

Apart from travelling through the town on the way to Rugby League matches in Barrow, I didnt really know a lot about Ulverston. Apart of course from its (fairly) famous connection with Stan Laurel. So getting there mid-morning, I was able to have a decent nosey round. First port of call was the Laurel And Hardy museum. Plenty of old photos, copies of letters to fans, and a continuous showing of their films. Perhaps they might consider putting all the information into some kind of chronological order, but that's not a complaint and the whole thing is well worth a very reasonable £3 admission. Anyway, they might be on the move very soon, according to the local paper. Just as good was the walk to the terraced house just out of the town centre where Stan was born. There is the customary blue plaque - "Stan Laurel was born here" - with, six feet above it, the customary Sky dish, just to remind you that you are in the twenty-first century.

There is also "The Stan Laurel Inn" and I enjoyed a pleasant pint of "Lonesome Pine" in The Sun Inn. They go big on the theme. All of which made me wonder if HMHB were going to do a very obvious cover version as part of their set. But I should have known better. That would have been too cliched.

There were plenty of eateries in town. Particular mention must be made of the baked (or is that microwaved?) potatoes at The Ship's Wheel. Top garnish (including strawberries!). And later on, the fish and chips from the Chippy Bank filled a gap.

Being just to the south of the Lakes, there is plenty of walking territory in the vicinity. I just managed to squeeze in a quick march up to the Sir John Barrow monument which looks down on to the town. A fine view in all directions, even though it is a little breezy at the top.

Support band in the evening was the splendidly named Big Guns Of Iraq. Unfortunately I didn't catch enough of their set to decide whether or not their music matched their name. Too busy fawning over the newly acquired copy of the CSI Ambleside CD, you see. The show was busy without being packed out, and some of the audience members were a lot younger than you might expect to see at these things. I'm not sure that all of them were singing along during Vatican Broadside. It would have been good to see a return of the brass section, but you can't have everything. However, instead the band dug out a cover version from the vault marked Stiff Little Fingers.

Fuckin' 'Ell It's Fred Titmus
Shit Arm Bad Tattoo
Blue Badge Abuser
Running Order Squabble Fest
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Totnes Bickering Fair
Look Dad No Tunes
Numanoid Hang-Glide
Outbreak Of Vitas Geralaitis
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Twenty-Four Hour Garage People
We Built This Village On A Trad Arr Tune
Vatican Broadside
Third Track Main Camera Four Minutes
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Mathematically Safe
Everything's AOR
Monmore Hare's Running
Tending The Wrong Grave
PRS Yearbook / Quick The Drawbridge
For What Is Chatteris?
Bad Losers At Yahoo Chess
Restless Legs
The Trumpton Riots

and encore...

Barbed Wire Love
Reflections In A Flat
Joy Division Oven Gloves

My only regret on the way home was forgetting to ask if I could have the massive banner that was hanging outside, advertising the show. But I suppose these things get re-cycled or something. And maybe it's because I'm a smalltown boy, but I tend to enjoy town gigs more than city gigs. So... more town gigs please, chaps.