53 Degrees, Preston, Fri 12th November 2010 (15/11/10)

Roger Green:

Having already witnessed one cancellation of this gig, I was slightly taken aback to see during my mid-afternoon venue inspection that the place was positively festooned with posters advertising a show by Edwyn Collins on the very same evening. Surely some mistake? Well, apparently not. A panicky phone call to Manager Davies confirmed that the place actually has two stages. Edwyn, admittedly, would not have been a bad second choice, based on form shown at The Brudenell in Leeds the previous week. But Geoff confirmed that everything was in order.

So it was on to Scrumptious. I await to be told that there is somewhere in Preston that serves better fish and chips. Even the bread cake had been given a fair brushing with the butter knife. Always give a plug where it's due. I'll be back there some time. It also gave me chance to read the centre-page interview with Nigel in the Lancashire Evening Post. Well, technically it wasn't on the centre pages, because there was also a "Property Today" supplement. But I'm sure you know what I mean. There was an element of old ground to the feature, with the Tranmere/The Tube story and mentions of Nerys Hughes, Fred Titmus, John Peel and the dealings with Dean Friedman. But he also explained the cancellation of the original Preston date. I don't think that "sounding like Orson Welles" is a bona fide medical term, but we'll let it pass. Oh, and I'll be sending a memo to the sub-editor at the paper. Only one "s" in "Titmus". Nevertheless, it was more media exposure than the band generally gets.

Support on the night was from The Dead Shores. I'm sure they wouldn't mind being described as being slightly sort of HMHB soundalikes. Infact Tony standing next to me suggested that there was an even an element of HMHB lookalikes as well. Best not go there. The singer spent a lot of time trying to stand on one leg and invented a form of microphone gymnastics. The guy even went as far as doing press-ups during one guitar break. I suspect he may have the problem with the restless legs. "I Want Nigel Blackwell's Autograph" might not be their best song, but is definitely their best title. Any band that hands out free CDs can't be all that bad. Check out their album You Gotta Beef Wid Me?

Next up was HMHB. Straight into it. Nigel points out to me that The Devil Rides Out is available for four quid in Sainsburys. I'll have a look next time I'm in. The band also had on-stage towels. These pop stars, eh. And the water was Asda's Eden Falls. There must have been an offer on. Public praise for Ken after some good work from him in A Lilac Harry Quinn. "He's been snorting Dreft," said Nigel. There was a shout for Jean Michel Jarre's Equinox. "Don't encourage him," replied Nigel, nodding towards Ken. I scribbled down that there was a Pixies riff somewhere along the line. The crisps at the garage were a snip at 88p, and there was someone in the queue who was after a can of Lilt. When the headphones came off, Nigel could hear Bon Jovi. There was a powerful "errrr!" from the moshpit at the end of Dukla Prague. And we were reminded that Sandy Gall is coming to town. The folk in Paintball's Coming Home watch the World Cup down the pub. Tony assured me that "Slipknot" was preceded by a song from Toy Story. You've Got A Friend In Me? One of the irritants in A Country Practice is people saying "closure". And there's a new lyric in there... "I'm incredibly bored with Chinese Lanterns." The Olympic Village has replaced The Millennium in that particular song. No guest appearances tonight. They couldn't even persuade Edwyn Collins from next door. We had to make do with a Cher cover.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Bad Losers On Yahoo Chess
Left Lyrics In The Practice Room
Bob Wilson Anchor Man
Uffington Wassail
Monmore / Hare's Running
Everything's AOR
Petty Sessions
Running Order Squabble Fest
Fuckin' 'Ell It's Fred Titmus
The Trumpton Riots
Twenty-Four Hour Garage People
Restless Legs
Evening Of Swing
All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
For What Is Chatteris?
Paintball's Coming Home
National Shite Day
Tommy Walsh's Eco House
Vatican Broadside
A Country Practice
We Built This Village On A Trad Arr Tune

And then the encore

Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves
1966 And All That
Joy Division Oven Gloves

And so it was off to The Lamb And Packet with Tony and his son, to consider the CDs which he gave me (Man Or Astroman, and an interesting take on The Dark Side Of The Moon). We also took the opportunity to discuss the beginnings of Scientology (we had had a few beers by then). And we were interested to note that Pringles were a quid at the pub. So maybe the garage is not such a bad option after all.