New Model Army – The Fleece, Bristol

Tonight was New Model Army’s first gig with stand-in drummer Andy Woodard who’s deputising for a temporarily indisposed Michael Dean. It was also the 20th time I’ve seen them as a full band, plus half a dozen other assorted partial lineups.

Support came from She Makes War, not bad, but not really my kind of thing, possibly better suited to a more intimate venue.

As always New Model Army were superb, Andy Woodard coping admirable with the unfamiliar material. They opened with Stormclouds followed by No Rest, worked through a good mix of old and new material, and ended with a second and final encore of Seven Times, which took two attempts to get going due to a guitar problem first time round.

No doubt I’ll be seeing them at least once more before the year is out.

Setlist was something like this:

No Rest
March in September
Did You Make It Safe?
Pull the Sun
No Pain
I Need More Time
Get Me Out
Between Dog and Wolf
Today Is a Good Day
Christian Militia
Here Comes the War
Wonderful Way to Go

The Price
Archway Towers
Green and Grey

Seven Times

Nothing Lasts

The rear wheel which originally came on my Lemond Buenos Aires back in early 2005 has finally died. It’s a Mavic Open Pro rim on Campagnolo Centaur hub, and has done duty on the Lemond, then on the Singular Firebird, and more recently on my Kinesis TK3.

I snapped a spoke in in a few weeks ago which was replaced, but when descending Midford Road on the way back from Odd Down at 40+mph it went rather out of shape. Turns out the spokes are pulling through the rim. Probably a good job it didn’t collapse completely on me as it could have got quite messy.

The problem now is deciding what to replace it with. Another Open Pro rim would be the cheap option, but I doubt it would match the old one. A different rim would mean replacing the front at the same time to match, or I could get a complete new set of wheels and keep the existing front wheel and rear hub as spares.

Time to ponder.

Half Man Half Biscuit – The Assembly, Leamington Spa

A bit of an odd gig tonight. We had a nicely varied setlist from Half Man Half Biscuit, but it didn’t feel quite right.

The intra-song banter wasn’t quite as good as usual, they didn’t play a cover version beyond a few bars of Control and Transmission by Joy Division, and a few of the more common songs such as Fred Titmus were missing. However the sound was good, particularly the vocals which makes a nice change, we got an impromptu version of a very old song called Smash the Cistern, and ending on Trumpton Riots made for a good finale.

Maybe I’m just being picky, this was the 13th time I’ve seen them, and you’ve got to expect some gigs to be better or worse than others.

Eno Collaboration
Totnes Bickering Fair
Smash the Cistern
Tonight Matthew I’m Going To Be With Jesus
Bogus Official
Outbreak of Vitas Gerulaitis
Joy In Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)
P.R.S. Yearbook – Quick the Drawbridge
A Lilac Harry Quinn
If I had Possession Over Pancake Day
Gubba Look-a-likes
Bob Wilson – Anchorman
Monmore, Hare’s Running
Vatican Broadside
Look Dad No Tunes
Joy Division Oven Gloves
Fix it so She Dreams of Me
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
– something new
National Shite Day
Took Problem Chimp to Ideal Home Show

Them’s the Vagaries
For What is Chatteris…
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
Trumpton Riots

Therapy? – Trinity Centre, Bristol

Billed as the TG20 tour, this was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of Troublegum, which only serves to make me feel really old.

Fortunately for someone who’s not really listened to much Therapy? since Troublegum, the entire set tonight was Troublegum-era material, and what a set it proved to be. They only played for 75 minutes or so, but ripped through an impressive amount of songs in that time before disgorging a slightly shellshocked crowd out into the cool night air.

Stop It You’re Killing Me
Trigger Inside
Auto Surgery
Die Laughing
Bloody Blue
Totally Random Man
Pantopon Rose
Opel Mantra
Lunacy Booth

Evil Elvis
Breaking the Law