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  1. EXXO on Your jaw juts out like Mart PoomGo »

    Seems unlikely that there are any practice rooms (“rehearsal studios”) in either of those metropoli of the type where one practises 6-8 every week and then leaves ones lyrics for the fascination of the cooler band who practise 8 till 10. Or that Muse used any such before they left town.

    And if the ditty was set in Exeter or Plymouth, then the fact that he was from Ilfracombe would be of little remark.

    Seems to me far more likely that the band resides in a gritty northern town to where Chris gravitated for the goth and metal scene and has semi-settled there after flunking out of the poly, until his genius is recognised, which it never will be, because it is non-existent. At least it rhymes though.

    19 July 2018

  2. CATHEDRAL JUICE on Your jaw juts out like Mart PoomGo »

    I can’t help being reminded of Muse, who formed in Teignmouth – over on the other side of the county from Ilfracombe, but also a seaside town in Devon. Never knowingly underwrought, lyrically or otherwise. Their previous names included Gothic Plague…. Are Future Doom only the band Muse coulda been?

    19 July 2018

  3. BOOKER PRIZE GUY on Your jaw juts out like Mart PoomGo »

    I always interpreted the lighthouse bit to imply a warning of some kind against writing bad lyrics. “May standards of good taste and quality shine on me and may I be warded away from terrible lyrics”
    But it could be just me.

    19 July 2018

  4. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    An entertaining enough birthday stage. I guess. Plenty Sky replica kit gonna be sold next few days though 🙁

    18 July 2018

  5. Exxo on My heart is like a hand grenadeGo »

    Tranmere, Crewe and Shrewsbury, who have today been drawn in a group together with Man City Under-21’s in the Checkatrade, will have to go some way to match the amount of swerving that was done last season.

    When Bradford, Rotherham and Chesterfield were drawn with the same MCFC development squad at the same stage last season, the aggregate attendances were 15% – just above one seventh – of their average league gates. 17 swervers for every 3 attendees.


    18 July 2018

  6. THE MAYOR OF CIRENCESTER on But then I encounter Primark FM…Go »

    It was astonishing, now that a presumption of insanity was raised, how many collateral circumstances were remembered to which a condition of mental disease seemed to afford the only explanation – among others, the unprecedented neglect of his corn stacks in the previous summer.

    Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, Chapter 55.

    18 July 2018

  7. dr desperate on More HMHB in the MediaGo »

    Maybe not a direct link, but I mentioned a while ago that the verse form of 1966AAT is that of ‘The Lord Chancellor’s Nightmare Song’ from G & S’s ‘Iolanthe’.
    And, of course, TDSN has
    “Follow me, oh follow
    Down to the hollow
    And there we will wallow …”
    from F & S’s ‘The Hippopotamus Song’.

    18 July 2018

  8. dr desperate on But then I encounter Primark FM…Go »

    “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!” (Psalm 55)

    18 July 2018

  9. POP-TART MARK on But then I encounter Primark FM…Go »

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Macbeth, 5,5

    18 July 2018

  10. CHARLES EXFORD on But then I encounter Primark FM…Go »

    For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

    Isaiah, 55

    18 July 2018

  11. dr desperate on But then I encounter Primark FM…Go »

    Happy Birthday, NB55.

    18 July 2018

  12. Bobby Svarc on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    It is about dementia.

    17 July 2018

  13. Idristhechiseller on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    Re: Bain Of Constance.

    UFO was my first HMHB album and I bought the rest as I when i managed to turn up a copy. This meant that, having heard BOC and visited this site, I was quite happy to buy into the dementia theory-though, as some said on the thread in question, Vince’s musings are probably more akin to the thought disorder you’d see in schizophrenia. It was only six months or so later when I managed to track down Cammell Laird Social Club and heard Them’s The Vagaries that it hit me: the narrator was recognisably (to me at least) Vince, a good decade and a bit before forward rail travel and Insufflated limestone particles had exerted their effects on his brain. I can’t help but see one song as a sequel to the other.

    Geraldine, I’d say, is definitely depressed and the Large Hadron Collider joke is our narrator’s doomed attempt to raise a knowing smile out of her. I can only hope the Battenberg does its trick.

    17 July 2018

  14. GOK WAN ACOLYTE on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    It’s the title that particularly makes me think TBOC is about dementia – Constance is (presumably) Vince’s wife who now has to care for a him while he talks about an ancient debt from Heswall Flower club and confuses an 80s pop star with a milk thief. The line about him not blaming her if she ‘made good her escape’ (e.g. by putting him in home) also seems to indicate this.

    I’m not saying this is the ‘correct’ interpretation, just how I’ve always seen it (at least since the lyrics were fully deciphered on here!).

    Geraldine, on the other hand, seems more likely to be suffering from depression or as I suggested above, maybe an addiction problem.

    But surely a bit of controversy is good for this site’s appeal?

    17 July 2018

  15. Chris The Siteowner on More HMHB in the MediaGo »

    Simon Mayo (q.v.) on the Word Podcast reckons ‘there’s a direct link from Gilbert & Sullivan through Flanders & Swann to Half Man Half Biscuit’.

    17 July 2018

  16. dr desperate on CanGo »

    Mr Keith’s ma playing with Fall frontman? (4,1,5)

    17 July 2018

  17. paul F on Hot soup in the aftermathGo »

    Enthusiastically reworked by Monty Python as “Sam Peckinpah’s Salad Days” of course.

    17 July 2018

  18. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    That is insane (though I could understand its usefulness to high level competitive cyclists). Certainly increases my appreciation of the song.

    17 July 2018

  19. Third Rate Les on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    I must have missed the debate on Bane of Constance, but if that’s a depiction of dementia, then I’ve had dementia my whole life. I took it as a wonderful depiction of the nonsense that goes on in our minds all the time.

    I didn’t pick up a dementia theme in this one specifically, although plenty of general decrepitude of which that could be a part. The Hadron Collider joke, however, strikes me as just the kind of in-joke that only a long-standing couple would find funny, or even be able to tell at all.

    17 July 2018

  20. peter mcornithologist on CanGo »

    Thanks Mr Keith .Mark E Smith cuddles Irmin ? Rightly so

    17 July 2018

  21. transit full of keith on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    True that. Although this isn’t as open a field as some (eg Lilac Harry Quinn). It’s clear enough that Geraldine is in the realm of the unwell (rather than just, say, having lost her sense of humour). I would go with it being some relatively serious kind of anxiety-related disorder, maybe depression-related. Like DBT, I can still enjoy the song as a belter, with a dark and complicated bleak story wrapped up in it.

    At the same time it’s quite possible it’s about early-onset dementia. To be honest, I don’t really want that to be true, because for me it seems to take things to a different level of grim – so bleak it becomes harder to enjoy the song in the same way. In particular, the hadron collider joke .. that would be one of the blackest things ever set to music, wouldn’t it?

    17 July 2018

  22. dr desperate on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    If I’ve learnt anything from visiting this site (I haven’t) it’s that there are as many versions of what the songs are about as there are fans.
    Whimsical, bitter-sweet, poignant, hilarious, there’s only one person who knows for sure, and he’s probably not sure.

    17 July 2018

  23. Cygnus on Let me hear you say hosepipe banGo »

    Not sure whether or not this is stating the bleeding obvious (especially for those of you living in the North-West) but it was unknown to me: there has just been a report on BBC Breakfast about an impending hosepipe ban; the reporter was standing on the banks of a Wayoh Reservoir which supplies water to Bolton and the surrounding area.

    17 July 2018

  24. Featureless tv producer steve on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    That was my take on the Bane of Constance too, Duke. I found it amusing and whimsical, and suggested that it was a continuation of the relationship that began in Them’s The Vagaries, with all the attendant hilarity.

    I was roundly voted down, and made to feel like a horrible person for days.

    17 July 2018

  25. dr desperate on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Cutting hedge technology.

    16 July 2018

  26. Cream cheese and chives on Hear the word ‘aplomb’ being usedGo »

    In commentating over 22 goals it must be hard to avoid cliches , but it was nice to hear the Everton FCTV commentator weigh in with a very satisfying ‘finished with aplomb’ in the clip on the BBC website recounting the Toffees’ victory over ATV Irdning. In primary school football we used to end games early if it got to 9 v 0. Mind you, if that were the case Ipswich would have had an early trip home against Man U in about 95?

    16 July 2018

  27. brumbiscuit on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Yes Exxo; on any particular route you are shown how fast you went on certain segments and in comparison to others who have travelled the same way. Some folk go the extra mile and track heartbeat rates & cadence, but you have to pay for that privilege. You also get awarded little cups if you break your record time on segments. Oh, the fun is endless…

    16 July 2018

  28. Mac on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    If it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen.

    16 July 2018

  29. DUKE OF WESTMINSTER on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    The intonation sounds to me more like “Astonishing there for to think of you now” but what do I know as later in the song it sounds to me like “Reaching for the men and…” and neither of those provide a better “meaning” than the words plumped for at the moment?

    As to who is picking out the gherkins, it would be strange if it was Geraldine rather than Emma Ollerhead. Geraldine is addressed in the as “you” whereas the person picking out the gherkins with a sour face is “she”.

    GWA – Is Bane of Constance about dementia? Are you thinking that the nonsense in Vince’s mind means he has dementia? My reading is that it is the flotsam of an inquisitive but flittering intelligence rather than someone with dementia.

    16 July 2018

  30. dr desperate on Hot soup in the aftermathGo »

    To state the bleeding obvious: ‘Salad days’ comes from Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra’, referring to her days of youthful inexperience (“My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood.”) In American usage it can also refer to a heyday, a period when somebody was at the peak of their abilities, not necessarily in that person’s youth. Used as the title of a somewhat bizarre 1954 musical by Julian Slade, which coincidentally I attended the night after last year’s Bath gig, finding myself sitting in front of another regular Biscuiteer.

    16 July 2018

  31. GOK WAN ACOLYTE on It’s just a selling plate, nobody caresGo »

    Actually, I wonder if Geraldine has (multiple) addiction problems? Maybe to gambling (which is why she’s obsessed with a ‘selling plate’) and/or drugs – the references to harsh as noted above, “a rock to rely on” (crack cocaine)? If so, it’s a considerably more sympathetic portrait of drug use than “What made Colombia Famous” or “New York Skiffle”

    16 July 2018

  32. GOK WAN ACOLYTE on Mine’s a pint of Badger’s Entirely BlamelessGo »

    Although DS has it right when he/she says “a woman stuck at a Friday night gig she’s been forced to come to, when she could have been home with Goggkebox and social media”, I also think it’s Mr B imagining it’s specifically that it’s a HMHB gig – the Boam and Zuiderzee references, along with the ‘raising a knowing smile’ line.

    As has been noted before, it’s very “meta” – Mr B imagining the mindset of someone who has been dragged along to one of his gigs and who doesn’t know or like anything she hears.

    16 July 2018

  33. Gipton Teenager on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »


    16 July 2018

  34. Alice van der meer on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Thank you Brumbiscuit, as someone who cycles to work but simply can’t take it seriously enough to get into all the lycra (and also has creaky knees), that gave me a damn good giggle.

    15 July 2018

  35. Flintlock on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Ha ha – yes, Mr Exford: analysing Strava is even worse than you’d thought. I stopped after about a week, but I’ve just remembered that I still analyse MapMyRun now and again.

    15 July 2018

  36. dr desperate on So you’re the best chance of getting me downGo »

    Did I hear Guy Mowbray say at one point during the Croatia France match, “Modrić, Vida, Pavard, Fekir…”?
    Probably not.

    15 July 2018

  37. dr desperate on World CupGo »

    Allez les Biscuits!

    15 July 2018

  38. EXXO on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    So let me get this straight: other people are looking at how fast you go from A to B on your bicycle?

    15 July 2018

  39. brumbiscuit on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Having creaky knees, I have an electric bike, and very good it is too. I use Strava and I get some warped satisfaction when analysing my stats from wondering how the mamils scratch their heads when analying theirs at how I, at my advanced age, can put in such fast times.

    15 July 2018

  40. hendrix-tattoo on Dickie DaviesGo »

    Let’s not forget his ‘Cup Soccer’ moment….

    15 July 2018

  41. Schoon on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    Sometimes good to analyse Strava:

    15 July 2018

  42. Gipton Teenager on The difference between us and all the other bands…Go »

    @FTVP Steve.
    Thanks for that. The information has been passed to the relevant people. I know what you mean about live vs. studio versions. There was a band round Yorkshire a while ago called The Buttermountain Boys. Live, they caused raw pandemonium and jollity in equal measure, the studio album was swimming in reverb and, well… shite.
    I owe you another pint .

    14 July 2018

  43. Featureless tv producer steve on The difference between us and all the other bands…Go »

    @GT, sorry for the slow reply. Haven’t had a lot of spare time recently.

    I know there’s weird psychology involved, but in the same way HMHB fans might still call Trumpton Riots their favorite song, McMurtry’s very first album is still my favorite. It’s called “Too Long in the Wasteland” and I still think it’s brilliant.

    It came out in 1989, and parts of it are sadly dated now (I always loved the line “When a telephone rings in an empty room/Does it make a sound?” which seems really archaic now) but I still find it poignant and truthful and everything else he’s good at.

    Also, in my humble opinion, Choctaw Bingo is one of those songs that are kind of disappointing to hear the studio cut after hearing it live. Not that it sucks or anything, but it sort of became his “Alright, let’s get into a groove thing and have some fun” live song, and the studio cut might leave you feeling a little bummed.

    14 July 2018

  44. Transit full of keith on The first man into space was Captain BlighGo »

    Possibly relevant to the choice of ‘Duck Soup’ in this song: it contains the line “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”

    14 July 2018

  45. Dagenham dave on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    ‘Ground Control’ would be a good name for a coffee shop. Or a roastery.

    14 July 2018

  46. EXXO on Cammell LairdGo »

    Very moving indeed, especially the first speech on the history and future of the yard and its meaning for Birkenhead and Wirral. As she berthed at the end of the live webcam feed, John Laird’s grave was briefly in shot, 190 years after he started building ships on the same site.

    14 July 2018

  47. CHARLES EXFORD on Cammell LairdGo »

    BAS webcam live now, launch at high tide (about twenty past noon).

    14 July 2018

  48. dr desperate on CetshwayoGo »

    Played in ‘Zulu’ by his great-grandson Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who was called upon to defend it this week after a showing at an armed forces charity event in Folkestone “unleashed a Pandora’s box of unfettered discord and intolerance”.
    He unstroppily described it as “a film that demands a thoughtful response”. The organisers admitted a poor turnout and low takings.

    14 July 2018

  49. Dagenham dave on Who needs the library or the pub?Go »

    14 July 2018

  50. Dagenham dave on Hot soup in the aftermathGo »

    A very fine song. I can’t get it out of my head. Just perfect.

    14 July 2018