Right, here’s one for some really considered contributions. Your chance to really put something back into the world wide web from which you have freely taken so much information.
There are many HMHB songs with references to bands (and people) which might at first glance seem to have sprung from NB57’s imagination. But we know better than that, don’t we? What are the true back-stories behind the names which – until they appeared in HMHB lyrics – nobody seemed to have heard of? It’s time the web was told.
For inspiration, take a look at this extraordinary thread on WSC’s OTF discussion forums (warning: very long – but very funny – read).
Thanks to Ross for the idea.
Thelma Malmaison (1983-) is a British TV presenter and occasional actress, best known for fronting the Discovery Home & Garden +1 series Deco Warriors which ran for 16 episodes in 2007-2008. Born and raised in Dagenham, Essex, Malmaison set her heart on becoming a stage actress from an early age, and after a series of setbacks including a failure to be accepted at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, she got her breakthrough as Kitty Malone, an up-and-coming East End boxer in the Pineapple Dance Studios’ 1999 production of “The Other Operation“.
It was at this point, following the final performance of the show, that she met Brian Stoats, the TV talent spotter who was soon to become her husband. Stoats immediately cast Malmaison as the continuity announcer for 24-Hour Wombat Watch, a three-week continuous TV show made for the Animal Nation +1 channel in 2001. After the third series of ’24hWW’, as it became known to fans, she left hurriedly (and to this day, inexplicably), and was replaced by Keith Chegwin.
A two-year break from broadcasting appeared to follow, after which Malmaison returned to British TV screens in 2007 fronting Deco Warriors, after an extensive Facebook campaign to which she was a major contributor. The 15-minute long show consisted of Malmaison and her camera crew bursting in on unsuspecting decorators, amidst much hilarity, and giving an instant verdict on their work. Although these verdicts were mixed (as were those of the critics who watched the programme), fans put on increasing pressure for Malmaison to use what became her catchphrase: “Y’Know, It Makes The Room Look Bigger!” and towards the end of the series, this verdict was given at least once every show. In Episode 12, it was used a record 9 times. Deco Warriors was not recommissioned, and Thelma Malmaison has not appeared on TV since. She know lives with Brian Stoats in Weybridge, Surrey, and promotes her own range of designer curtain hooks.
8 September 2010
Evil Gazebo were a UK rock band, known for their dark, nihilistic lyrics and abrasive guitar sound. Formed in Dudley in 1992 from the ashes of a number of local bands, they rapidly gained a large underground following before breaking into the charts with 1994’s Shanghai Mutiny EP. A run of three acclaimed but controversial albums followed, before the band collapsed under the weight of internal divisions, fans’ expectations and substance abuse.
Singer Chris Hilton (1967-) had been in local grindcore outfit Dead Forest, notorious for their 1990 single Raped by Disney. After they split, he recruited former Theban Cycle guitarist Noel “Nosher” Powell (1969-) and formed Evil Gazebo. Bass player Trev Barnes (1962-2005) and drummer Mickey “Goliath” Presley (1964-), who together had formed the rhythm section of numerous bands on the Birmingham death jazz scene, were added to the line-up. Early gigs in and around Birmingham saw the band gaining in popularity, and the band began to tour more extensively, culminating in a legendary performance at Deptford Abyss in December 1992, which saw a near riot. With many fans locked outside, the band, demonstrating the confrontational style which would become their live trademark, played a set consisting entirely of death metal versions of obscure Motown songs.
By early 1993, Evil Gazebo were attracting the attention of numerous record companies, and signed to Headache Records in March. Recording of their first album was disrupted when Presley was arrested and subsequently jailed for six months for possession of an offensive weapon and assaulting a police officer, after a mass brawl erupted after a concert in Aldershot. Upon his release, after serving only three months of the sentence, the band embarked on a major UK tour.
Controversy continued to dog the band, and the tour rapidly descended into chaos, with numerous cancellations as their reputation grew. The third gig on the tour, at Rock City, Nottingham saw the near destruction of the venue by the audience, enthusiastically encouraged by the band. Many of the subsequent gigs were called off by venues fearful of a repeat. Undaunted, the band took to hiring a flat-bed truck which they would park outside the venue, and perform to a small gathering of fans and bemused members of the public, before the inevitable arrival of the authorities.
In January 1994, their debut EP Shanghai Mutiny was released, peaking in the charts at 38. The record sharply divided the critics, with Kerrang describing it as a “…much-needed breath of foul air to the stagnant UK metal scene.” Melody Maker, however, described it as, “The most repugnant record you will hear this decade. Nothing about this record is of any merit whatsoever, from the tasteless artwork, which borders on being offensive to the brain-dead attention-seeking lyrics and the sludgy nauseating noise which attempts to pass itself off as music.” In April that year, their debut album Legion of Enemies was released. With Hilton’s trademark histrionic delivery, and Black Sabbath-influenced riffs, the record entered the UK album chart at number 11. Controversy was never far away, and song-titles such as Papal Erection, Kill Your Parents and Whitehouse Holocaust kept the tabloids busy. Conservative MP Sir Terence Rigby-Peller even referred to the album in a speech in the House of Commons as part of an unsuccessful bid to allow censorship of music.
The next three years saw the height of Evil Gazebo’s popularity. Their second album, Bellum Letale, released in June 1995, kept to the familiar formula and attracted the attention of Tipper Gore‘s Parental Music Resource Center. The PMRC claimed that one track, Daemon Valhalla, if played backwards, contained subliminal messages, a claim denied by the band who argued that listening to the album forwards should be offensive enough. November 1997’s Annihilation Fuckfest pushed the sound to even greater extremes, climaxing in the 17 minute Death is Birth, a wall of distortion and feedback with Hilton howling barely comprehensible lyrics about Satanism, torture and Armageddon.
During this time, the band maintained a punishing tour schedule, including a headline slot at the 1997 Monsters of Rock festival, which has since entered the annals of rock legend. Their set was described in Metal Hammer magazine as “the most filthy, sordid and disturbing performance ever witnessed on a stage. Never has there been such a terrifying blend of blasphemy, debauchery and class A narcotics.” The band, fuelled by an immense intake of alcohol and drugs, delivered songs of such violence and terror that many audience members were seen vomiting, while others fought with each other and tried to attack the stage. The relentless musical bombardment went on long past the curfew, ceasing only when the organisers killed the power. Reviews at the time claimed Hilton led the crowd in chanting Nazi slogans and at one point attempted to incite them to commit mass suicide. Hilton later claimed his words were “meant to be ironic”. Evil Gazebo’s performance that night was so outrageous and offensive that attempts have been made to airbrush it from history – even to this day debate rages about whether it actually took place.
But by late 1998 the cracks were beginning to appear. Sustained drug abuse was affecting their ability to play live, while tensions arose within the band over musical direction. In September, bass player Trev Barnes was deported from Brazil during a tour of South America, following an incident with local law enforcement officers and the teenage daughter of a prominent Rio de Janeiro politician, which remains shrouded in mystery. On the Italian leg of their European Tour later that year, Barnes and Nosher Powell were arrested while attempting to unfurl an enormous banner from atop the Duomo in Florence. It read, “Gazebo Diablico” (sic) over an image of the Vatican under a mushroom cloud. When it emerged in March 1999 that the band had squandered the entire advance for their intended fourth album on various hard drugs and extravagant purchases (at one point, Hilton was paying for his favourite chip shop in Dudley to make daily deliveries to his home in South London by helicopter), Evil Gazebo were quietly dropped from Headache records.
Some interest was shown by other record labels, but in June 1999, Powell abruptly quit the band, citing that old favourite, ‘musical differences’. He was reportedly unhappy with the new direction Hilton wanted for the band, described as “stripped down Italian speedcore.” The band attempted to soldier on, with Hilton on lead guitar, but formally split up a few months after Powell’s departure. Hilton toured as a solo artist, but disputes over the rights to Evil Gazebo’s back catalogue prevented him playing their songs. Powell joined the established Heavy Metal group Deuteronomy and enjoyed moderate chart success. Hopes for an Evil Gazebo reunion were briefly raised when Powell walked out of Deuteronomy, angered by comments made to the NME by singer Bernard “Ben” Wylde during an interview arranged without the knowledge of the other band members. However, Hilton and Powell were unable to resolve their differences.
Chris Hilton continues to write and perform live under the name Army of One. Nosher Powell has played session guitar for a number of bands, and is currently a member of Slipknot tribute band Reefknot. Trev Barnes packed in music altogether and opened a garden centre on the outskirts of Chatteris. He was killed, somewhat ironically, when a poorly constructed ornamental pavilion collapsed on top of him in 2005. Little is known of enigmatic drummer Mickey Presley.
9 September 2010
Chris The Siteowner
Superbly well researched. There were a couple of bits of information in there I hadn’t come across before.
9 September 2010
Stringy Bob, a.k.a. Robert Mellie (b. 01/04/1959, d. 12/09/2010) was a notorious arsonist as well as a keen exponent of the left-handed guitar. His dual life perplexed and stretched the loyalty of his many fans, as his repeat arson attacks on, as he saw it, rival performers was the very antihesis of the pleasure he gave many during his more lucid periods.
Given his break in Pankhurst as lead guitarist in the otherwise all-female group, he mesmerised audiences worldwide with his almost manic axe work. The nickname “Stringy” apparently stemmed from the fact that he could repair a broken string on his guitar mid-song and tune it up without losing track of both time and beat; a feat not often seen on stage in Birkenhead. Rumours that his moniker was linked to bizarre sexual acts with his fellow band members’ skimpy underwear were always strenuously denied on Stringy’s part, though ne’er a word came from the female group members either in his defence or in denial. Indeed, such was his sensitivity to these rumours that when a well known member of a band with a regal name called him G-Stringy Bob at the Brit Awards in 1999, Mellie had to be held back and restrained from setting fire to the bouffanted rock star with Jack Daniels and a Cuban cigar. This episode, shown live on TV, shocked millions of viewers.
Many bands were attacked by Stringy. Evil Gazebo had their tour bus burned out, Elton John‘s Steinway was reduced to ashes on the flimsy pretext that Candle in the Wind was a personal slur, Luciano Pavarotti was set ablaze whilst performing Nessun Dorma at the Tipton Memorial Hall, and Bros had their entire stage set set alight in a trailer whilst it sat in Dover Docks. CCTV later proved that Stringy had been nearby, and whilst the evidence was circumstantial, it proved to be enough to convince a jury of his guilt. Stringy Bob’s descent into pyromania had brought him into his first of many spells at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
Jeffrey Archer was one man who befriended Bob in prison. Prison officers were bemused at the kinship between the two, until Archer reported that his collection of vintage Swan Vestas and England’s Glory matchboxes had disappeared after a late night visit from Bob. Whether this episode was linked to the unsolved arson attack on the prison chapel was never fully investigated in the eyes of many, including the honourable Lord. Many other spells of incarceration followed. Some imposed by the courts, some by Stringy voluntarily entering a myriad of institutions and others – the majority – as a result of his being sectioned for arson attacks with varying degrees of success on fellow rock stars, though surely Susan Boyle‘s suffering stretched the limits of his fans’ patience. It should also be added that as his descent into lunacy spiralled ever steeper, so did his guitar playing reach new heights. Who can forget his awesome solo during Robbie Williams’ Angels at the Cammell Laird Social Club to ring in the new millennium – a gig that was supposed to herald the launch of his rehabilitation into society at large? Pity then that the insurance claim after his appearance set a new record in British corporate history. “Take That, Arthur Brown” was, with hindsight, not the ideal way to end a show.
Much of the next few years was spent explaining away his increasingly erratic behaviour. Mooning at Ian Hislop on his one and only appearance on Have I Got News For You – the only live broadcast ever attempted of the show – and his unfortunate, excruciating suffering following his failed lighting of a fart on the show, damned him in the eyes of many, and his fan base deserted him in droves. His last years were spent in isolation – enforced and voluntary – as Stringy’s unpredictability and penchant for immolation consumed him.
Fulchester will mostly mourn the passing of this colourful character, although the commander of the town’s fire Brigade, a C. Snort, did comment that a whole watch had been stood down since his demise.
Bob is survived by his wife, Mai Lin and their eight children, the star’s brother, Roger – a well known TV personality – and various other unproved illegitimate offspring – subject to many a paternity case. The funeral will be held, rather fittingly, at Fulchester Crematorium. A firework display is to be held after, and donations to The Firefighters’ Charity would be welcomed instead of floral tributes.
13 September 2010
Chris The Siteowner
Perhaps the site’s first ever Obituary. Hat doffed in respect.
13 September 2010
Hat doffed in respect ….for possibly a different reason to Chris’s!
13 September 2010
Lee’s Twenty First
Report from the Lewisham Lancet, August 2008:
Four men accused of murdering local bouncer
Four men are facing trial for the murder of a nightclub doorman. Lee Smith, 21, Peter Clough, 21, and John Jacobs, 20, all from Lewisham deny murder.
Jack Merkhiooj (also known as “Bruiser”), 35, an ex-marine and part-time teaching assistant, refused the men entry to the Abyss Club in Deptford. Four days later he was attacked outside the home of a friend in Greenwich, and beaten with sticks. He died later in hospital.
Roger de Mayde, QC, prosecuting, at Woolwich Crown Court, said: “The motive was revenge for what they perceived as the earlier loss of face. The prosecution will bring witnesses who will testify that they saw Merkhiooj refuse these men entry on the – admittedly provocative – ground that they were ‘too thin’”.
He then told the court that the accused tracked down Mr Merkhiooj to his home. They called Mr Merkhiooj out and shouted ”We want a word with you.” When Mr Merkhiooj arrived, they descended upon him armed with weapons and with the element of surprise in their favour overpowered him. They beat him and then disappeared. Mr Merkhiooj suffered a massive heart failure during the attack and later died in hospital.”
One of the accused, Lee Smith, said in his defence that he and his friends were out to celebrate his twenty-first birthday on the night in question. “We were out for a good time“, he told the court, “not looking for a fight. When Bruiser told us that we weren’t getting in we just decided to head for elsewhere.” During cross-examination, when asked how that made him feel he answered “Annoyed and upset. But it wasn’t worth our while arguing the toss with him – he’s too narky – so I told John to just leave it and we went to another club.”
Medical reports note that high quantities of the anabolic steroid Oradexon in the victim’s bloodstream may have contributed to the heart failure that Mr Merkhiooj suffered during the attack.
The trial continues.
15 September 2010
Great stuff everyone.
Brum, if it’s not already, “keen exponent of the left handed guitar” should become a euphemism for some or other perverse practice.
16 September 2010
Hmm… Memory may be faded, but didn’t Douglas Adams mention that a character in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency that was a keen exponent of the left handed synthaxe?
Time to dig it out from the back of the cupboard & reread it.
16 September 2010
A bizarre twist to the Stringy Bob story: while attending a dinner party at Phil Cool’s Solihull mansion, ornithologist – and alleged comedian – Bill Oddie has now confirmed that the stuffed bird Cool has on his mantelpiece, that he received in strange circumstances, is in fact a Dunlin, not a Sanderling. Autumnwatch are set to host a one-off special on wading birds from the house. Thankfully, Kate Humble is unavailable.
18 September 2010
In order to prevent myself from looking like a total berridge, how does one render things bold, italic, underlined and so forth in ‘ere?
30 September 2010
Chris The Siteowner
You don’t have to, because I do it. So don’t worry. Thank my first employer for sending me on a year-long writing and subediting course.
If you really must, then use <strong> … </strong> for bold and <em> … </em> for italic. 🙂
30 September 2010
Vendor of Quack Nostrums
Phyllis Triggs (born 22 December 1967, presumed deceased 1 February 1995) was a rhythm guitarist and lyricist of the Welsh rockers (Wo)Man. Her drug-fuelled lifestyle and psychedelic lyrics have ensured her place in rock folklore, especially since her disappearance whilst holidaying on the Somerset Levels during the winter of 1995.
Success came quickly for Phyllis, who formed the all girl rock combo (Wo)Man, along with the sisters Jocelyn and Martina Ace and Jane Beck. A reputation as a no nonsense, hard playing and hard living foursome soon followed, as did a recording contract. Their first album ‘Bottomless Perdition’ became a top seller, spawning the singles ‘Dirt track to a darker place’ and ‘Trampled in the Exodus’. These two cuts set the tone for what was a dark, at times forbidding album, which nevertheless won critical acclaim.
The first two successful singles were followed by ‘Last Chance for Hanging’, which was banned by the BBC due to its lyrical content, being as it was a celebration of the Ruth Ellis case. Phyllis took this very badly and it was at this point that it is suggested drugs first entered her life. The downward spiral was not helped when a (Wo)Man performance at Glastonbury was derailed by the anarchic group The Librarians who forced their way onto the stage to play in (Wo)Man’s place. Phyllis and the band were apoplectic with rage. The NME headline said it all: “But still they cried like girls”. In the ensuing melee afterwards, it is claimed that Phyllis quit the band after attacking the lead singer of The Librarians with a knife. She later claimed that she was trying to improve the ‘bad tattoo’ on his arm. Hours later she was admitted to hospital herself having cut her own arm, in what she later claimed was a remorseful act of self harm.
The drugs hell and drinks bills which followed over the next few months resulting in Phyllis being admitted to The Priory, financially broke and psychologically broken. Her recovery seemed quick however and on her release she announced to a stunned music world that she was joining the folk duo Audrey and Joe. It seemed like a return to the early days, as the trio packed themselves into a transit van (albeit a fairly humble ex-plumber’s model) and set off on the road. It appeared to close observers that Phyllis was the happiest she had ever been and her new songs reflected this. The trio recorded one album ‘Stay Alert’ from which their best known song ‘We all knew someone at Primary School’ – which remembers the halcyonic, lit up days, of childhood – was taken.
Phyllis disappeared on 1 February 1995. Holidaying alone she was last sighted by a gantry camera, mounted across the motorway she turned left off, as she joined a minor road. Fifteen minutes later, her musical partner Joe received a text simply saying ‘Oooh! Rhubarb! Lets go!’. It is mere speculation as to what she may have meant. Her ex-bandmates from (Wo)Man have pointed out that ‘Rhubarb’ was the street name for the synthetic drug to which she had become addicted prior to her leaving the band. Many of her fans from her later folk days claim that she had become a keen gardener after her recovery and was always on the lookout for edible perennials to bolster her allotment. Either way, she’s still not been accounted for, and was declared ‘presumed deceased’ in November 2008.
2 October 2010
A footnote to the Phyllis Triggs story:
Conspiracy theorists have noted with some relish that Triggs’ disappearance coincided exactly with that of Manic Street Preachers lyricist Richey Edwards.
Some believe they had met on the previous Halloween when Edwards, despite being depressed beyond tablets at the time, stole her away from under the nose of his own brother, and a whirlwind romance followed.
The couple were reportedly sighted the next day in a traffic jam in Snowdonia, shortly after getting into a row about the price of crisps at a nearby 24 hour garage. Sightings have also allegedly been made as far away as Hawaii, Enschede and, of course, Goa.
Whether these reports are false or 4 real is a matter of conjecture, but what is clear is that Triggs had first got into the Manics some time before and had become somewhat obsessed with the Welsh rockers.
Although neither Phyllis nor Edwards has been found, the Triggs family wanted to create a fitting memorial to her. After deciding against turning a corner of their front room into a shrine, a mock burial was staged at their local parish church in Chatteris. They tended her grave for several years until an administrative error revealed that the actual spot where her “remains” were supposedly interred was, in fact, some 200 metres away.
Distraught by this revelation and irritated by the unwanted attention of Pankhurst fans, who saw Triggs as a musical and cultural inspiration, the family eventually abandoned the plot, which quickly became overgrown and descrated.
According to the rural dean, the grave is now waist deep in meadow grass.
4 October 2010
Totnes Times In Court This Week Section:
Darren Murgatroyd, 47, of Digestive Drive, Totnes, was today bound over to keep the peace for a year for causing a major incident at the Santa’s Grotto at Reagan’s toy store in the town.
When asked to explain his actions that put Doris Murgatroyd, 39, his ex-wife, in the casualty ward, he claimed that he had been in a low mood after a child rejected with disdain the toy crane he had given to him. This was compounded by “Jingle Bells” and “I Saw 3 ships” playing on the grotto’s piped music system straight after. “I just sort of went into a trance”, claimed Murgatroyd.
Justice Spite was quick to point out that such happenings were the lot of a Christmas-time Santa, and that Murgatroyd would have been better off not applying for such jobs in future if he were to be so thin-skinned.
Murgatroyd added in mitigation that the straw that had broken the camel’s back had been the appearance of his ex-wife and his three children at the grotto. “Doris knew I was working the grotto, even if she claims she didn’t. To then rub my nose in the misery of losing access rights to my kids, she had them come into the grotto eating organic rice cakes and humming the tune to “Winter Is Blue” by Vashti Bunyan. Before I knew it, I’d grabbed the street crossing lollipop I kept handy to start the afternoon shift at the local school and twatted Doris with it.”
Reminding Murgatroyd he was in a court of law and telling him to curb his language, Justice Spite referred to the psychiatric reports that had been performed for the court on Murgatroyd. Adding that it was clichéd to be cynical at Christmas, Justice Spite recommended that the accused take a long, hard look at himself and do some self-discovery. At which Murgatroyd attempted to vault the dock, screaming abuse at Justice Spite.
All that was left was for Murgatroyd to be restrained and lead from the dock.
St Anne’s CofE school is believed to be looking for a new lollipop man. Anyone called Darren need not apply.
2 December 2010
The 24 hour garage man has been identified as Bruce Nooseman. Having visited the now derelict garage where he once worked, it was clear that staff at the garage have never forgotten his memory due to to the floral tributes next to the Blue Plaque in commemoration of the world’s longest queue of Half Man Half Biscuit fans (yes, longer than the one outside Sheffield’s Boardwalk every February).
Details of his career at the garage were released in short notes awaiting the forthcoming biography (next Autumn) being compiled by Audry Pant. She has revealed that Bruce’s passon for Blue CDs (yes thats right, not the blues) often lead to episodes of cross-dressing in attempt to escape his fame following the release of his brother from jail, having served 10 years for GBH of several alternative music-loving hippies at the Battle of the Bean Field.
Further information has come to light about his string of divorces in the early 90s. Ex-wife Tracy has come forward to tell all about Bruce’s daymares, where he would become tranced and start locking all the doors at 10 minutes to 10 to stop any more people entering the garage and shouting “No more customers in the shop. Please use the hatch.”
I personally can’t wait for the biography to be released.
26 January 2011
The husband who quotes Chubby Brown wishes it to be known that he is unwell.
16 February 2011
This is a real one. Discovered the inspiration for one of the newer biscuit songs lyrics came from. “Let your light from the light house shine on me.” is from an old gospel song recorded by “Blind” Willie Johnson a noted blues guitarist from the 30s. Blind Willie has been covered by Nick Cave and several other well known artsists he seemed to be a pretty good at bottle cap sliding. Was played today on Radio 6.
20 February 2011
This name was penned by me as his nibs came 57th in a list of Greatest Ever Merseysiders in a poll in dee ekko, circa 2001.
He was betwixt Rex Harrison and Andy McCluskey.
25 February 2011
Dai V. Lately (King of Welsh Trance)
While Taylo’s erudite posting is of course well evidenced by his postings on the Yahoo HMHB Group mailing list and confirmed by an old dog-eared copy of the Echo, Bisto’s last comment seems a bit loopy and far-fetched for an organ like ours. Biccipedia relies on solid scholarship and academic rigour so we must give the full facts. The tune and lyrics may indeed seem similar to the song you mention, but HMHB’s version is of course a dance anthem inspired by their famous party antics at a famous local Wirral landmark, the Moreton lighthouse. There were always many rumours about why HMHB split in 1987, and different writers have interpreted hints throughout lyrics and interviews to suggest that important band members fell prey to various unfortunate afflictions and quasi-religious cults, but the truth is it was dance music what done it.
‘The endless touring of 1986-87 saw the band exhausted’, says former roadie Trevor Storton in his autobiography, ‘but also took them to many festivals where they discovered the nascent acid house and acid jazz genres. French Trance, Italian speedcore, Nu-house, Old Skool, new wave of Righteous Handbag, Frankfurt Acid Jazz, Sex Beat Electro… The boys suddenly realised they were free to be what they wanted, without being hassled by The Man, and they tried it all over the next couple of years. The influences are plain to see in those later 90’s lyrics and sounds.’
But bitter experiences with the Wirral Globe’s Deep House Victims Minibus Appeal in 1990 when the treasurer ran off to Goa with both the minibus and the Lady Mayoress, soured the whole local rave scene, hastening HMHB’s reformation as an alternative post-punk outfit, and incidentally meant that HMHB have always been reluctant to get involved in such causes since.
Local ravers squatted the disused Moreton lighthouse every summer from 1987-1991 and installed their famous rotating strobe lights for regular free parties, some of the most famous weekenders of that generation. Check out the rare YouTube footage on this acid house blog. It shows the last (and some say the greatest) of those parties in 1991, where various members of HMHB can be seen dancing on a makeshift outdoor stage. One is wearing a blue boiler suit and multi-coloured wig to protect his identity, but there is little real doubt in my mind at least. Unfortunately this, the only surviving film, is shot in daylight so the light from the lighthouse shining on him can’t be seen. ‘It was like one last big bash for old time’s sake before they returned to the day job’, said Neil’s cousin Paul Crossley in his own poignant and highly recommended memoir ‘From Birkenhead to the Seattle Sound.’
25 February 2011
The long awaited cage fight between geordie hard man, Jimmy Nail, and erstwhile rock psycho, Henry Rollins, finally took place at Bedworth Civic Hall this evening. In a very closely fought bout, both bruisers suffered at each others hands, fists, feet and teeth. Rollins put up a superbly energetic display, but seemed somewhat hamstrung by his lack of knowledge of the rules at times. Nail took full advantage of his opponents vacillation on numerous occasions and it will be a long time until Rollins can lower his voice from falsetto.
The headlines will scream “Nail Hammers Rollins!”, but this was no one sided contest. Indeed, once the red mist had cleared in Rollins eyes after yet another of Nail’s opportunistic gambits, he very nearly landed a killer blow – almost literally, but seemed to lack the final will to do so.
It was a carnival atmosphere. Lenny Henry provided the warm up to the bout – and a raucous time was had by all. The announcement that Jenny Eclair had laryngitis and could not perform was rather unsportingly applauded all too loudly. Jo Brand stepped in as the round marker board girl. Chants of “keep ’em on, keep ’em on, keep ’em on!” echoed around the arena at the start of every round, but the former nurse ignored the calls and gamely and proudly displayed the boards in her lilac leotard that appeared several sizes too small. Her perfectly executed splash of a streaking and rather inebriated Clive Anderson threatened to eclipse the main attraction. Nurse Sue was quickly at his side to administer assistance, though last rites might have been more appropriate.
As if this was not enough of a distraction, the Pedestrianise Bedworth High Street Now! protestors could have timed their demonstration better, seeing as Rollins had just suffered another all too bruising meeting with a Nail right knee. Pandemonium ensued as the Bedworthians were escorted from the premises by the security team.. This took more than a fair while, as Sainsburys were the providers of said muscle – although flab seemed to be more on the counter in this case.
The rumoured appearance by former PM Tony Bliar (sic) did not happen, and perhaps that’s just as well, as this spectacle was dramatic enough without him. Angus Deaton did arrive just as the bout was ending, and was almost glassed as pensioner Glady Frothwell threw her milk stout glass in Nail’s direction in a gross fit of pique after yet another of his unsporting, though legal, manouveres.
All in all, this was a night to remember for the North Warwickshire town. Rarely will the venue have reverberated to the sound generated by tonight’s extravaganza. It’s rumoured that there will be a follow up bout between Eamonn Holmes and Ainsley Harriot, though I gather negotiations are at an early stage. If it’s half as good as this evening’s entertainment, do not miss it!
Dickie Davies, World of Sport.
12 March 2011
TWO FAT FEET
The great Lux Familiar Cup Final controversy arose from a protest lodged by For What Is Chatteris who claimed that A Country Practice stalwart Duff Leg Bryn was ineligible, having appeared in the qualifiers for Little In The Way Of Sunshine.
The news was broken by Framley Examiner music correspondent Jeff Dreadnought, who reported that Bryn had been absent from ACP’s qualifying fixtures due to his notorious frequent hangovers. However he had recovered in time to get some much-needed match practice in for LITWOS in their unsuccessful qualifying campaign.
ACP countered this argument by saying that his appearance for LITWOS had been just a dream  and he was thus clear to lend his support, duff leg notwithstanding, to their charge to the final. There was considerable concern that the entire finals tournament would need to be replayed, with Problem Chimp taking the vacant spot.
The case was eventually thrown out of court, ACP being cleared of all wrongdoing on the basis that the magistrate Mr J Blatter was a mate of a mate of the bloke who did their PR.
Chatteris chairman Rick Barrios was unavailable for comment, however opinionated weather forecaster Suzanne Charlton was dismissive of the Chatteris committee’s protest, claiming that they were “all just a bunch of flaming drongos” in a drive-by shouting outside a Chatteris cake shop.
15 June 2011
Nowhere seems quite right to post this but here’s some ‘rare footage’ of Simon Blackwell and Paul Wright’s band The Mental Eddies playing live on the Wirral during the 1987-90 HMHB hiatus. Rather splendid actually. The lad can play a bit, but I guess that was never in doubt.
9 August 2011
The hackneyed fellow from Hackney, Tommy Walsh, has started court proceedings against the Birkenhead beat combo Half Man Half Biscuit. “It’s a bleeding liberty, it is,” ranted the DIY guru outside the county court building in Royal Leamington Spa, location of his pied-a-terre. “I ain’t never touched a bleedin’ Bisodol, let alone had a bellyful”‘ he continued.
Walsh has recently signed a sponsorship deal with Rennies, and fears the association with the Bisodol brand could sour relations with the chalky hangover cure makers. “The liberty is I wasn’t even asked before being dragged into one of their degenerate songs. And I had to look up Dignitas. sick it is, let me tell you!” With his lawyer at his side urging him to err on the side of caution, Walsh spouted on unabashed: “Mr Blackwall (sic) can expect to feel the full force of the law against him. No one trashes Tommy Walsh – ever! Well, except for Monty Don, and that Titmarsh twat, anyway,” he blurted.
At that, his lawyer manhandled Walsh into a waiting taxi and whisked him off from the steps of the court. Winding down the window for one final riposte, Walsh shouted “I’ll bollocks his zeitghost (sic) for him, and put him under a motorway!” Seconds later the taxi pulled up and his by now flustered looking lawyer quickly exited the vehicle. The press pack swiftly engulfed him as the taxi sped away. “Mr Walsh is currently seeking new legal representation”.
15 May 2012
ROCCI DE LA GRIAUT
Sanctimonious by Anita Roddick
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The O’Really Group is proud to dedicate Sanctimonious to the memory of Anita Roddick. This fragrance has been thoroughly tested on animals, and has been scientifically proven not only to remove wrinkles and to lengthen eyelashes but also to induce uncontrollable sexual frenzy in, and to permanently increase the penis size of, men up to 5000 kilometres downwind.
Speaking through the famous clairvoyante Mme. Sosostris, the late Anita Roddick said yesterday: “Sanctimonious was developed by a series of brilliant accidents. It has a great smell and a funky name. It is positioned between two brands of embalming fluid and has caused controversy. It is incredibly sensuous. It is 2012, the year of the tropical downpour and the Olympics, so there is a lot of flesh around. We know about storytelling, this product tells a right old story. We recycle everything, not because we’re environmentally friendly, but because we don’t have the bottle to do anything else. What is unique about it, with no intent at all, no marketing, it has translated across cultures, across geographical barriers and social structures, and into interplanetary space. It wasn’t a sophisticated scam, it just happened like that.”
Santimonious by Anita Roddick is available exclusively from Argos stores and from all good chandlers for only £24.99 for the luxury five nanolitre flask. It is the perfect gift.
6 August 2012
While looking for something else, I stumbled upon this list of imaginary bands. It includes Evil Gazebo, but not a tribute band which I shall not name here because googling would find it. It has recently been discussed in the Depressed Beyond Tablets thread.
There are two main options:
1. Modify the Wikipedia entry.
2.With a strong initial posting backed up by judicious third-party amendments and extra citations, we might be able to make it stick. I don’t think I could manage the facts or the style, but if someone else wants to have a go…
8 August 2012
The Trumpton Gazette
It is with sorrow in our hearts that we have to inform you of the passing away yesterday of Edna Honeyman, erstwhile Lady Mayoress of Camberwick Green. Mrs Honeyman was a well known figure in the town, having been instrumental in the town’s reconstruction after the riots of the mid-1980s that so devastated both the infrastructure and the peaceful nature of the area.
Born in 1930s Trumpton, Mrs Honeyman witnessed first hand the decline of that town and the neighbouring towns of Camberwick Green and, particularly, Chigley. Beeching’s cuts were not kind to the towns and the rail network was ripped out of the area; the only remaining rails being those of a well-to-do landowner. The sudden closure of the rail depot in Chigley had a far reaching, negative impact that echoed round the entire nation in August 1985. As you will no doubt recall, disaffected youngsters in Chigley, angered by the perceived channelling of aid to Trumpton and Camberwick Green – to Chigley’s detriment – rampaged through those towns causing mayhem, arson and death.
Despite Mrs Honeyman’s brave efforts, the whiff of discontent spread quickly and was swiftly inhaled by many residents who added, literally, fuel to the fire. Had it not been for Mrs Honeyman’s rousing speech urging the officer cadets at the local fort to see sense and to put down the uprising – for such it was – who knows how much worse things could have become? Personally hit by a flying brick, eyes streaming from tear gas and with her trademark long dress torn to ribbons by a nail bomb; Mrs Honeyman implored action and her words did not go unanswered. Eventually the town was torn back from the grasp of the conspirators by young inexperienced troops from the fort, aided by the towns’ policeman, P.C. Quentin McGarry.
In the aftermath, it was plain to see that a terrible price had been paid to regain the advantage. Mrs Honeyman never regained sight in her left eye. Camberwick Green’s illustrious Doctor Mopp was lynched by murderous thugs and the fire station itself burned down. Whilst some were ill at ease with martial law being declared, many more were pleased to hear the crack of the firing squad, as artisan men of previously good character, who had allowed themselves to join in the rampage, paid the ultimate price for their actions.
The market square in Camberwick Green still bears some scars of the battle, and the firing squad’s post stood for many years as a reminder to others that such wilfulness only leads to death and destruction. The government was keen to send aid to the area. The site of the Chigley goods marshalling yard is now the location of Primark FM’s headquarters. The nearby motorway was widened, although at the cost of a good few local, historical landmarks. Slowly, but surely, some form of normality was restored to the towns.
The ‘Little Lady of Camberwick Green’ who stood firm, will no longer be labelling any idle layabouts, but her memory will live long in this part of the world. Mrs Honeyman leaves behind three sons and two daughters.
Edna Margaret Honeyman, b. 22/1/1933; d.30/3/2014.
31 March 2014
DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD
1985 Cabinet Documents Revealed – Latest.
Mrs. Honeyman’s closest advisors wanted to write off Trumpton and Chigley in the aftermath of the 1985 riots, allowed the latter to be flooded with hard drugs and even raised the prospect of its partial depopulation, according to secret council papers to be released under the 30-year rule.
They told her that the “unpalatable truth” was that they could not halt the area’s decline and her closest parish councillor Sir Geoffrey Whye warned her not to waste money trying to “pump water uphill”, and telling her that “Chigley will be a tough nut to crack, but massive quantities of cheap heroin should do the job nicely.”
The papers released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule reveal Honeyman’s closest advisers told her that the “concentration of idle layabouts” on Chigleyside was very largely self-inflicted, with its record of industrial strife under basque-like union leaders such as Windy Militant.
Although they never articulated the case publicly at the time, those telling Honeyman that there was little point in spending money on either Chigley or Trumpton included Sir Keith Dreamcoat, and Norman Onyerbike. The files show that when pressed the case to save Britain’s inner cities with Captain Flack’s paper, ‘It Took a Riot’, they ensured his demand for £100 m. a year of new money for two years for Chigleyside alone was met with a paltry offer of £15.49, with the added condition that “no publicity should be given to this figure”.
In a confidential note in the immediate aftermath of the Trumpton riots, Whye said that Flack’s plans for a “massive injection of additional public spending” to stabilise such deprived areas had to be rejected: “Isn’t this pumping water uphill? Shouldn’t we go rather for ‘managed decline’ and ‘turn a blind eye’ (sometimes it’s best to)? These terms are not for use, even privately, of course. They are much too negative, but instead of allowing Flack to pump water uphill, we should just let PC McGarry work with market forces – allowing them to pump hard drugs in.” Dreamcoat suggested using newly privatised Arriva Trains Chigley to steam the drugs in and Onyerbike urged that “we can then the absorb the exodus of Chigleyside manpower elsewhere – for example in nearby towns of which some are developing quite promisingly. We could ask them to Prestatyn for example. My dad had a caravan there (static, naturally, or he couldn’t have gone there on his bike).”
Flack was humoured for a while, Honeyman appearing to back his ideas in public and allowing the press to describe him as temporary “Minister for Chigleyside”, but gradually Captain Snort was encouraged to raise the drawbridge and while Chigley rotted, the vested interests of Camberwick Green thrived. All corn-grinding, bee-keeping, soul-mining and other former quaint local industries could now be done overseas, much more profitably. Last week’s privatisation of Doctor Mopp’s surgery, now known starkly as The Methadone Dispensary, was surely the final blow in Honeyman’s proud legacy.
31 March 2014
The annual, Shrove Tuesday Stavanger Töestub took place in the city last Tuesday. Held every year since 1215, the event attracts thousands of visitors to the town to watch the organised brawl of dozens of townsmen spill out of the town centre into the surrounding hills.
The origins of the ‘sport’ are unclear, but the aim of the game is the same now as it was back in mediaeval times: i.e. to kick as many of the opponents’ shins as is possible in the allotted two hours.
Much as farmers place coloured pads on the front of rams to see how many ewes the have tupped, players have coloured chalk stuck onto the front of their substantial boots, so that hits, or stubs, can be gauged by the number of chalk marks on the white shin pads worn by all participants. Players’ arms are tied behind their backs, so that those with a long reach are unable to fend off opponents. Headbutting is frowned upon, but that doesn’t stop the occasional ‘accidental’ collision.
In spite of the shin pads, players’ legs are a mass of bruises at the end of the 120 minutes and broken bones are not unheard of. Ambulances are on stand-by, as are the local WI equivalent to dole out comfort and mugs of steaming herring.
Trygve Andersen, captain of the Lowlanders was presented with the trophy – a rotting sheep’s head – at the end of the match; his side having won by the relatively large margin of 1329 stubs to the Highlanders’ 1187. ‘We had a real ace in Erik ‘Bloodtöes’ Kvamme today’, exclaimed Andersen; ‘he was like a Dervish with his flailing feet down by the port’. Kvamme was later carried off to the Stavanger Infirmary after Restless Legs syndrome was found to be the root cause of his sublime performance. The Highlanders appealed against the inclusion of his score, but nothing in the rules could be found to eliminate his 221 stubs.
Players hobbled back into town after the game and hit the local bars in earnest; the prohibitive tax on alcohol being lifted on the day of the occasion. Scores having being settled – or started – the weary men drank their fill into the early hours.
Many now eagerly anticipate the equally arduous Bergen Böllöckbash that takes place on the western coast on Maundy Thursday. Just as the Queen hands over Maundy Money in the U.K, King Harald is always on hand to donate the meadow hay that players are allowed to stuff down their capacious trousers to soak up some of the force from the blows from the salmon that are wielded to land blows to the gonads of the men involved. Spectators wince at the mere sight of some of the meatier hits. But more of that in my report on Good Friday.
Huw Edwards, BBC News.
18 February 2018
Truth is stranger than fiction! https://www.olimpickgames.co.uk/the-events
13 April 2020
The URL above returns a 404. The updated link is: https://www.olimpickgames.co.uk/the-games/#shin-kicking
4 October 2022