Half Man Half Biscuit – The Empire, Coventry

It was a wet and miserable trip up to Coventry, although Half Man Half Biscuit were there to save the day. They ambled on stage to “Mouldy Old Dough” by local band Lieutenant Pigeon, and proceeded to play and chat for the best part of two hours.

Hedley Verityesque
Fuckin’ ‘ell it’s Fred Titmus
Tonight Matthew I’m Going to be with Jesus
Running Order Squabble Fest
Old Age Killed my Teenage Bride
Totnes Bickering Fair
Bad Review
Joy in Leeuwarden (We are Ready)
San Antonio Foam Party
When the Evening Sun Goes Down
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Gubba Look-a-Likes
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
“Bat Walks”
The Bane of Constance
Lark Descending
For What is Chatteris
The Bastard Son of Dean Friedman
Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools
We Built This Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune
Everything’s A.O.R.
Trumpton Riots
Vatican Broadside
National Shite Day
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Is the Light of an Oncoming Train)

You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory (Johnny Thunders cover)
Outbreak of Vitas Gerulatis
Time Flies By (When You’re the Driver of a Train)
Joy Division Oven Gloves

Given the date it’s a shame they didn’t play Epiphany.

Half Man Half Biscuit – O2 Academy, Bristol

A Half Man Half Biscuit gig is the only occasion where I’ll wear something resembling a football shirt. Thanks to my Dukla Prague away kit I got asked by the barmaid if I’d been to Prague, I had to explain it was a reference to a song which would likely be played later.

Support came from The Flux Capacitors who weren’t too bad.

Half Man Half Biscuit were on good form, the cover version tonight was in honour of great influence who had died earlier this year, Dan Haggerty. Overall a very enjoyable evening, although the six pints I consumed might have helped with that.

Westward Ho! – Massive Letdown
When the Evening Sun Goes Down
Third Track Main Camera Four Minutes
Petty Sessions
Outbreak of Vitas Gerulatis
Running Order Squabblefest
If I Had Posession Over Pancake Day
Left Lyrics in the Practice Room
Everything’s A.O.R.
Paintball’s Coming Home
Bob Wilson – Anchorman
Old Age Killed My Teenage Bride
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Floreat Inertia
Tommy Walsh’s Eco House
The Bane of Constance
Look Dad No Tunes
For What is Chatteris
Ode to Joyce
Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools
Fix It So She Dreams of Me
Vatican Broadside
Joy Division Oven Gloves
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
National Shite Day
We Built this Village on a Trad Arr. Tune

Trumpton Riots
Maybe (Thom Pace cover)
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)

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)
CAMRA Man
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

Half Man Half Biscuit – O2 Academy, Bristol

The support tonight were JD Meatyard, one of the better bands I’ve seen supporting HMHB over the years.

Some two hours after the doors opened the main act arrived in stage and launched into their set. Plenty of good songs tonight, a couple of notable omissions, and a strange lack of inter-band banter. Hopefully that’ll be back when I see them next in April.

Bob Wilson – Anchorman
Fuckin’ ‘ell It’s Fred Titmus
Bad Losers at Yahoo Chess
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Totnes Bickering Fair
Joy In Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)
Left Lyrics in the Practice Room
Floreat Inertia
Light At The End Of The Tunnel
Dead Men Don’t Need Season Tickets
When the Evening Sun Goes Down
Restless Legs
For What Is Chatteris…
– something new
Turned Up, Clocked On, Laid Off
Fix It So She Dreams Of Me
Uffington Wassail
Surging Out of Convalescence
All I Want For Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
Vatican Broadside
Everything’s AOR
National Shite Day
Trumpton Riots

River Deep, Mountain High (Ike & Tina Turner)
99% of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
Joy Division Oven Gloves

Half Man Half Biscuit – Roadmender, Northampton

Having missed seeing the Biscuit in Cambridge earlier this year, it’d been a while since I’d seen them.

The support band were nothing to write home about, starting off with a bad easy-listening version of Rock the Casbah, and going downhill from there. However to be fair they weren’t anywhere near the worst band I’ve seen supporting Half Man Half Biscuit.

8:30 came and the main act arrived on stage for their near 2-hour long set. A good mix of old and new songs, although A Country Practice was a slightly odd choice for the last song of the encore.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
Joy in Leeuwarden (We are Ready)
A Lilac Harry Quinn
Fuckin’ ‘ell it’s Fred Titmus
Look Dad No Tunes
Bob Wilson Anchorman
Use to be in Evil Gazebo – I Went to a Wedding (end)
Yipps (My Baby Got the)
Petty Sessions
All I Want for Christmas Is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
Totnes Bickering Fair
Tending the Wrong Grave for 23 Years
Irk the Purists
Running Order Squabble Fest
Fix it so She Dreams of Me
National Shite Day – The Best Things in Life (end)
Vatican Broadside
When the Evening Sun Goes Down
Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools
Restless Legs
24 Hour Garage People (Pringles cost £2.48)
We Built This Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune
It’s Clichéd to Be Cynical at Christmas
Joy Division Oven Gloves

For What is Chatteris…
New Dawn Fades (Joy Division)
A Country Practice

Half Man Half Biscuit – Komedia, Bath

Support tonight came from Roja, not the best support band I’ve seen, but by no means the worst. They finished off with a decent version of Nimrod’s Son by Pixies.

As always, Half Man Half Biscuit were superb, playing for nearly two hours before heading back north. Inter-song banter revolved around Arnold Ridley, the one-way system at the bottom of Walcot Street, and Barnestoneworth United.

27 Yards of Dental Floss
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
When the Evening Sun Goes Down
Fuckin’ ‘Ell it’s Fred Titmus
Asparagus Next Left
Joy in Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)
Turned Up, Clocked On, Laid Off
Restless Legs
Outbreak of Vitus Gerulaitis
Totnes Bickering Fair
Excavating Rita
Running Order Squabblefest
L’enfer C’est Les Autres
Look Dad No Tunes
Bob Wilson Anchorman
National Shite Day
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
We Built this Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune
24 Hour Garage People (Pringles were £1.84)
Little in the Way of Sunshine
For What is Chatteris
Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools
Fix it so She Dreams of Me
Joy Division Oven Gloves

She’s in Broadstairs
Tragedy (Bee Gees)
Vatican Broadside
Everything’s AOR

Half Man Half Biscuit – The Auditorium, Leicester

A new venue for me tonight, it’s actually a converted cinema. It looked pretty grotty, but worked quite well with tiered areas giving everyone a good view.

The less said about the support band the better, I think they probably rank as the worst support band I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing, however Half Man Half Biscuit more than made up for them.

They started out with the obvious tribute to the recently departed Fred Titmus, and then played for the best part of two hours. The only oddity was the lack of 24 Hour Garage People tonight, so no up-to-date Pringles pricing information was offered.

Setlist:

Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
San Antonio Foam Party
Restless Legs
Asparagus Next Left
Petty Seasions
Running Order Squabble Fest
Bob Wilson Anchorman
Left Lyrics in the Practice Room
Deep House Victims Minibus Appeal
Trumpton Riots
Bad Review
National Shite Day
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)
Lark Descending
Surging Out of Convalescence
A Lilac Harry Quinn
99% of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
Tommy Walsh’s Eco House
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
Joy Division Oven Gloves
For What is Chatteris?
Evening of Swing (Has Been Cancelled)
Vatican Broadside
A Country Practice
We Built This Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune

Them’s the Vagaries
Dreaming (Blondie)
Everything’s A.O.R.

Half Man Half Biscuit – The Junction, Cambridge

After a lazy morning I headed off on the lengthy trip to Cambridge to see the mighty Half Man Half Biscuit again, stopping off briefly to don my DPAK and swap cars, then back on the road for the last hours driving. We arrived 30 minutes after the doors opened to find only a dozen or so people in the venue, however it soon filled out as it got nearer to the start time of the only band tonight. They really should wash the floor in The Junction more often as it was rather on the sticky side, although it did mean you were unlikely to slip over at any point, or be able to move your feet at all really.

Just after 20:30 the band took the stage, and after the obligatory preliminary faffing launched into the set with Restless Legs. The mix was fairly poor tonight, with the vocals getting lost beneath the guitar and bass. However this didn’t prove much of a hindrance as pretty much everyone knew every word of every song anyway, and sang along enthusiastically.

Two hours later it was all over bar the queue for the ticket machine in the car park, and a rather wet drive back again.

Setlist (to be decoded later):

Restless Legs
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Fuckin’ ‘Ell, it’s Fred Titmus
Bad Losers on Yahoo Chess
A Lilac Harry Quinn
San Antonio Foam Party
Irk the Purists
Uffington Wassail
Bob Wilson – Anchorman
Outbreak of Vitas Gerulatis
Running Order Squabble Fest
Petty Sessions
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
Bottleneck at Capel Curig
Look Dad, No Tunes
Ballad of Climie Fisher (start)
Monmore, Hare’s Running
Twenty Four Hour Garage People (the Pringles cost £1.61)
National Shite Day
Trumpton Riots
For What is Chatteris…
Apache
1966 and all that
Vatican Broadside
Footsteps
We Built this Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune

Evening of Swing (Has been Cancelled)
Joy Division Oven Gloves

Half Man Half Biscuit – Komedia, Bath

Another fantastic night with Half Man Half Biscuit. There was no support band tonight, leaving us with 100+ minutes of biscuity goodness. Plenty of old classics tonight as well, and they finished with the perfect song for Bath.

Setlist:

Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Restless Legs
Took Problem Chimp to Ideal Home Show
Petty Sessions
Four Skinny Indie Kids
Floreat Inertia
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
I Went to a Wedding… (end)
1966 and All That
Bob Wilson – Anchorman
For What is Chatteris
We Built This Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune
Blue Badge Abuser
Trumpton Riots
Paintball’s Coming Home
National Shite Day
Bad Losers on Yahoo Chess
Turned Up, Clocked On, Laid Off
Twenty Four Hour Garage People (Pringles were on special offer at 75p)
Bastard Son of Dean Friedman
Totnes Bickering Fair
Twydale’s Lament (end)
Vatican Broadside
Seal Clubbing
Running Order Squabble Fest
Gubba Look-a-likes
Joy Division Oven Gloves

Kissin’ Cousins (Elvis Presley)
Everything’s AOR
I Hate Nerys Hughes (from the Heart)

Half Man Half Biscuit – The Charlotte, Leicester

Nowhere near as much travelling today, and a much more intimate venue. Support came from the rather good MJ Hibbett & the Validators complete with a rendition of “Hey Hey 16K”. Nigel seemed on much better form tonight resulting in far fewer lyrical cock-ups.

As with last night, there were surprisingly few people sporting Dukla Prague away shirts.

Setlist:

Fuckin’ ‘ell it’s Fred Titmus
Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes
Restless Legs
Running Order Squabble Fest
Petty Sessions
The Light at the End of the Tunnel (is the Light of an Oncoming Train)
Bogus Official
Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo
Four Skinny Indie Kids
Totnes Bickering Fair
Blue Badge Abuser
Look Dad No Tunes
All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit
Ode to Joyce
The Best Things in Life (end)
24 Hour Garage People (98p for the Pringles)
Trumpton Riots
Tending the Wrong Grave for 23 Years
For What is Chatteris
Paintball’s Coming Home
We Built this Village on a Trad. Arr. Tune
Vatican Broadside
National Shite Day

Took Problem Chimp to Ideal Home Show
Electricity (OMD)
Joy Division Oven Gloves