The Picturedrome, Holmfirth, Sat 12th March 2016 (30/03/16)

Niall Quinn:

Here's how a Holmfirth run goes for an Irish HMHB fan...

4.06 and I'm wide awake - been so for ten minutes. Swamp a coffee, thank mother-in-law for minding the heir and the spare and head for the airport.

5.20 arrive at Dublin airport where security decide my deodorant stick is technically a liquid and embark upon a searching inventory of my bits that stops just shy of them breaking out the latex gloves.

6.50 depart Dublin in a Dornier turboprop. "The last time one of these approached the English coast they scrambled Croydon and Biggin Hill", I nervously joked to my even more nervous better half. But as it transpired we were worrying needlessly. The flight was fine even if the noise made conversation difficult unless we observed the practice of ending sentences with the word 'Over'. Anyway our greater concerns would be reserved for our next mode of transport.

8.00 Avis car rental Leeds-Bradford. Good news, we've been upgraded - this is the spin put on their being all out of truly small cars such as we'd rented. I overheard them discussing this quandry in the back office - not that there is a back office as such. They just stepped a little further back from the front desk. We'll now be driving a 4-door Seat Leon - a car with an arse the size of a pregnant kardashian. Where the hell am I supposed to park this in Holmfirth?

10.30ish Dander 'round Holmfirths gift-shops including a stop off at the Cornerhouse for the small English and a mug of scald. Splendid.

11.30 Stop off in Lidl for my B&B survival pack which includes small cartons of fruit juice, cereal bars and WTF!! (I'm going through my textspeak phase) ...they've fresh Pain-au-Raisin in the Lidl here. With custard!.
AND there's freshly made bruschetta.
AND the building is appropriately clad in the local yellow sandstone that gives Holmfirth it's unique English country charm. We have NONE of these things in Lidl in Ireland where we're lucky if they're not out of sliced pan, you're more likely to find load-bearing wall props than bruschetta and the building itself is probably a modular assembly unit bought from the liquidators of the former Dell factory. I'm close to asking to speak to the manager.

12.30 Drive to B&B where, you guessed it, bigarsed Seat Leon doesn't even nearly fit in the tiny parking space. Rental car with arse sticking right out into right-of-way. 4...5...£600 excess? The stuff of comedy gold. Too tired to park somewhere else and too early to check in we doze off for an hour or two to the soothing sounds of 5live ....early kick off ...Blackburn nil, Leeds two.

2.30 check in. Nice house, nice people. Not even telling ye where. We were lucky to get booked locally this time and only managed it because they've not got the most prolific online presence. We'll likely need them again as everywhere else was booked out I'm told. Hit the hay for some proper shuteye.

3.00pm could not sleep.

3.30pm could not sleep.

4.30pm still could not sleep.

5pm gave up, got up, showered and togged off. Into town for 6.30 dinner in that nice place next to Picturedrome.

7.30ish in we go. It's sold out but I'd have thought they'd get a few more in here without undue discomfort. Take a stroll around the venue. Hopeful I might bump into Ken Hancock as I've done a couple of times before as I've a question regarding the guitar chords for the chorus of National Shite Day. Alas no Ken ...and consequently neither do I.

I'd not seen JD Meatyard before. Good set. Met him the pub across the road (used to be the rose and crown ...or so the stain-glass window suggests.) after the gig and commended him on said set. Nice chap.

HMHB did a quality set striking a good balance between the hits across the ages. Roger has already listed it so I'll not other than to add the notes I made on my mobile phone from the jet-age between particular songs ...

Old Age Killed My Teenage Bride -no niguitar
Bad Losers On Yahoo Chess -nigintroleadfill
Chatteris slow down bits. singing of improvidsed harmonies began*.
Bastard Flange intro**
Vitus o guitar on verse***
National Shite Day -no wiser.
Cover? Fall?
worried man blues.
Tradd Arr -nigeguitarintro
Country practice -leticia dean, martine mccutcheon

*Suitably marinated I have been known to sing improvised Crosby, Stills & Barbershop-esque harmonies along with the songs. Feel free to punch me. I'd punch me. Tonight I managed to reign it in for all but Chatteris.
**I think this is a note on guitar effects pedals rather than a stinging criticism.
*** that should probably read NO guitar on verse.

Just a further note I made mentally on the night. If Chris Rand's stats are accurate then Worried Man Blues made its live debut in Holmfirth.

Show over and with the last 12" of UFO secured we went for a pint across the road - my one and only bottle of my much loved Newcastle Brown Ale this trip (close to impossible to get here) before we made our way back to the B&B utterly Jan Akkermanned (her moreso) and a little bit pissed (me moreso).

12 midnight - B&B. She says her last sight of me before she turned out her lamp and fell into the arms of sleep was me setting myself up on the edge of the bed with my carton of apple juice and the pain-au-raisin I'd retrieved from the bigarse boot of the rental -settling into my little picnic and Match of the Day - though more likely the football league show at that hour.

Sunday was a beautiful morning ... all the moreso for having a drink too few rather than a drink too many. As English B&Bs seem to want you out at a time Irish B&Bs are still wondering what time you might make it back in we were fed and away by half past ten. So with time to kill we headed up to Roundhay Park near Leeds. What a fantastic park and what a day for it! They've a bit of a problem with litter-wankers I did think mind. I wonder if anyone's complained to the council? The Mansion cafe-restaurant help kill our time for us taking an hour to bring us a cheese sandwich. I'm glad I didn't go for the roast beef as i'd say the young lass'd still be trying to retrieve her axe from the poor cows skull.

Returning the Leon in immaculate condition (great fuel economy - couldn't get a tenner into it!) we exited England through the gift shop and made it home for about 10pm that night. Dunno when we'll be back but hopefully sooner rather than later.