ThomasOShea's current selection is:
Terminus [Live at the Picturedrome, Holmfirth - 21 June 2019]
by Half Man Half Biscuit
Cross And Blackwell

Half Man Half Biscuit at the Picturedrome, Holmfirth | Friday 21 June 2019

If Bob Dylan has been undertaking the Never Ending Tour for over 30 years, Half Man Half Biscuit could by contrast be deemed to have been playing the 'Never Starting Tour' for almost the same amount of time.

Friday's visit to a gloriously sunlit and verdant corner of West Yorkshire was just their 8th gig of the past twelve months since the release of latest album No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin' Hedge Cut.

Several songs from that record were seamlessly interspersed with the (cult) classics - no 'hits', obviously, their post-punk stylings fitting much more snugly into the John Peel Festive Fifty rather than the singles chart, with the exception of the Save BBC 6 Music campaign-inspired entry for 'Joy Division Oven Gloves' in 2010. At No. 56. (I suspect as many, if not more, people have bought the said kitchen aide from the merch stall over the years as have downloaded the track itself).

Before that, which was the the penultimate song of the main set, we were treated to such old favourites as 'Westward Ho! - Massive Letdown', 'Bob Wilson - Anchorman' and 'The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)' alongside the new songs like my selection here and 'What Made Colombia Famous'.

The relative scarcity of their performances, and the fact that they invariably take place at weekends, means that the audience are usually enthusiastic, engaged and inebriated from the start of proceedings, and this was no exception with a surprising amount of vigorous pogo-ing throughout, of which I had a good aerial view from the balcony of the coverted former cinema.

As is customary, most of the best-known crowd-pleasing material was held back to the latter end of the set, including perhaps their most famous ones in 'The Trumpton Riots' and 'All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit'.

The three-song encore included a cover of 'Complete Control' by The Clash before the show concluded with the title-including track from the LP, 'Every Time A Bell Rings', capping a bumper 28 song and near two hour show in much the same manner as it had commenced, sending everyone merrily back out into the balmy dusk with a spring (and some spite) in their steps.

One curio from the evening was the fact that Nigel wasn't playing guitar, something that was left unexplained and uncommented upon by the man himself - one would have to presume he had some sort of hand or arm problem, though that wasn't immediately or obviously apparent. It didn't really affect the sound of the band too much, and perhaps it may have been designed to leave a bit of space in the mix for his vocals/(Vatican) broadsides.


Posted: 23rd June 2019
Thomas O'Shea
RadiO'Shea: The Jukebox Of My Mind - Even The Happy Songs Sound Sad (TM) 'It's Too Late To Start Now!'
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