Not a city which the band has played in the last 20 years, and possibly ever. According to Exxo, the gig coincides with the weekend of Corpus Christi, “when ye olde medieval fayre would have been in town and the Wakefield Mystery Plays would have been performed around the streets”. Was it have been a good warm-up for the weekend? You tell me…
The order of service for those that could not join the congregation: –
Bane of Constance
Action Time Vision – Alternative TV (cover)
6 June 2015
First gig but hopefully not the last,a brilliant night.
6 June 2015
Did anyone ask Geoff what the rather beautiful walk-on music was? Sounded like a southern African choir with keyboard borrowed from Gorky’s? I assume it was a tribute to Stephen as Nigel said on stage he couldn’t remember, he thought it began with Q, and to ask Geoff.
Was a doubly good choice as it seemed to be on a bit of a loop, to cover up any faffing.
‘National Shite Day’ was also dedicated to Stephen.
Neil had his ‘Hats off to Steve Hanley’ t-shirt on, and it seemed like we were supposed to mentally cross out ‘Hanley’.
Maximum chat from NB10 between songs, and I’m sure Roger will have noted much of it for us, but no mention of Ken’s Wallasey firsts and no local celebs were spotted in the audience (not by NB10 anyway), but the “Why Mr. Krzywicki” in ‘Vitus Gerulaitis’ might have been conjured up by regional association, as it has been previously sung in Holmfirth I believe.
NB10 claimed somewhat implausibly that the band had come via Thirsk and the ‘World of James Herriot’ museum, but the whole routine about the tea room closing indecently early did seem heartfelt. Evidently a still a recent and raw emotional scar, if not one actually from yesterday.
Nigel had purchased one of these from Waterstone’s
specifically to counter the shouts from ‘The Rotherham Postie’. Younger readers may not be aware that the same fella has been shouting the same two things between nearly every song at HMHB gigs in Yorkshire and thereabouts for over 20 years now.
(i) What did god give us Neil?’ and (ii) stuff about Ronnie Moore, legendary manager of both Rotherham and Tranmere, and whose roller-coaster relationship with the latter reads like the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Oresteia rolled into one.
But the Rotherham Postie did not bargain with the sound effects machine, oh no.
At one point the ‘red avenger’ was also deployed to mock a set-list misapprehension by band-mates, when Neil and Ken did not swap instruments ready for ‘the Bane of Constance’. When it eventually came, Neil’s guitar solo in that one was majestic.
Neil also played acoustic of course for ‘Adam Boyle’, another of his compositions, and the horn parts were done by Nigel ‘parping’, and the rest of us joining in. How Loop (congratulations) was missed, even though she was standing just 5 yards away, and I’m sure if they’d asked we could have all brought kazoos. Maybe next time.
Altogether 7 songs from ‘Offal’, including a brave stab at the mighty ‘Mileage Chart.’ It’s a very different song from anything else in the HMHB songbook, and doesn’t lend itself to rough and ready live sound, but like I say a noble effort indeed.
Loved the encore cover of Alternative TV’s ‘Action Time Vision.’
I assume NB10 was quoting an actual opinionated TV weather forecaster’s catch phrase, when, as the final chords of ‘Oncoming Train’ reverberated, he wished us “a good weekend weather-wise and otherwise” ??
Great to see Paul down from Scotland.
6 June 2015
Just seen your intro Chris, and I can confirm that it was their first ever Wakefield gig.
Venue too long and thin, first few songs PA didn’t seem up to the job, though vocals were super-clear, but after a few songs it got louder and more balanced.
6 June 2015
lads pulled off a great performance in a duff venue, we are from wakey and would never bother with the place unless there was some one special on (like on Friday) its a long thin venue- with no acoustics and the sound is never the best (we were quite taken aback when we heard they had booked to play there) anyhow nigel and the boys managed to rise above it and give a stella 2 hour performance with a mix of old and new songs and chirpy banter, what did he call that thing on his guitar again?
7 June 2015
Glad to hear a native confirm my impressions of the venue.
I didn’t like to intervene in any of Nigel’s several conversations with Tony “the wizard” about his capo to put them right, but it’s actually short for ‘capotasto’, a tuning nut. ‘Capo’ in general just means the head of anything, as in the mafia.
7 June 2015
yes Charles, we go to a lot of gigs far and wide,( the meteors at brudenell next week ) so do a bit of a rate on venues, the ease of getting to and from the bar and loos during a gig for instance which is something else the wakey venue is very poor for, but lets not knock live music venues too much eh? just back to Holmfirth next time lads please?
7 June 2015
Excellent review, Exxo, and I’ll add my name to the list of those unimpressed by the venue. I’d never been to Wakefield before, but I understand the Unity+Works venue round the corner might have been a better choice. Between-song chat came across well, but the recitative bits in ‘Gwatkin’ and ‘NSD’ were almost inaudible from where I was stood standing. On the plus side, staff were more helpful than usual when it came to the retrieval of setlists, and I noticed one of them at the end actually unscrewing a frame to give a young lady an outsize poster for the gig (are you listening, Blackburn King George’s Hall?)
NB10 revealed that he had given up collecting the school vouchers (recently renamed Academy vouchers, and more recently coasting vouchers). No celebrities spotted, but Monty Don was named the best-dressed man on the telly, and the capo/caypo discussion led on to a discourse on Capodimonte porcelain, with the revelation that my old schoolchum Mark Lawrenson collects the somewhat lower-end Lladró.
From the setlist, it appears that ‘Fred Titmus’, ‘Venus in Flares’ and even ‘Trumpton Riots’ were sent on in injury time, whereas ‘Floreat Inertia’ and that seasonal favourite ‘Cliched’ were kept on the bench. As far as I recall, ‘Outstretched Arms’ and ‘Mileage Chart’ were first outings, as was (I think I’m right in saying) the tremendous cover of ‘Action Time Vision’ as first encore.
The “good weekend” sign-off sounds like it may have come from a TV weatherman, but if so he was quoting Benjamin Franklin, who said that people are divided into two groups: the weather-wise and otherwise, and you can’t say fairer than that.
On to Bury St Edmunds!
Incidentally, pub quiz question: where was St Edmund buried?
(Don’t overthink this one.)
7 June 2015
Quite possibly most recently in Toulouse. Which is quite appropriate really.
7 June 2015
The music is Ennio Morricone – score for the film ‘Queimada’ (Burn).
A big thanks to everyone for their kindness at this difficult time and for the generous donations to Motor Neurone Foundation.
Hope to see you all at a gig sometime.
7 June 2015
We managed to get a good vantage point on the side so everyone could see Loop’s reaction to the ‘parping’ in Adam Boyle (laughter).
Agree that NSD and Gwatkin were incomprensible at times but still enjoyed the gig and a lot of early stuff thrown in there too.
I agree with NB10 that Marty Funkhauser’s joke to Jerry Seinfeld is possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen.
Good to break (Naan) Bread and have a pint with Cresswell, plus good to see Roger and The Wizard, John in his Hi Viz AND satin black tour jacket plus I spotted Exxo from my lofty perch.
Thank you for the kind words of congratulations for our Biscuit baby too, due in October.
8 June 2015
Sorry, but neither myself or the 3 first-timers I was with heard one word of what Nigel either said or sang. Seriously. Actually, that’s a lie; I heard him use the word ‘vouchers’ at some stage. The 3 first-timers that I was with cleared off to the pub over the road after a completely inaudible version of National Shite Day. I moved position a couple of times more – half way up on the right, as you look at the stage, before going half way up on the left. Still inaudible. Where the hell did people stand who could hear everything clearly? Are you sure that it just wasn’t the fact that you know all the lyrics – mind you, that wouldn’t explain being able to hear the banter. I’m baffled. Not that that takes much nowadays…
8 June 2015
It was my first Biscuits gig and I really enjoyed it but I too thought the sound was a bit rubbish. I thought it started ok but seemed to get worse until the last few songs were basically a loud mush. I was about 20 feet from the stage hard against the wall in the right. Never mind, it was good enough to make me want to see them at the Leadmill in September.
8 June 2015
Whilst visiting Wakefield , wasn’t anyone tempted to saunter around the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle?
8 June 2015
Among the events advertised in the Wakefield Visitor Guide is the 2015 Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb, which I think sums up the status of the anthraquinone-containing fibrous stalk. I’ll eat it, but only if forced.
8 June 2015
I don’t think anyone’s mentioned it, but in outstretched arms, “hers were at five-thirtyfive” , which makes much more sense.
9 June 2015
I, T’other ROGEr GREEN
Warehouse 23, Wakefield, Fri 5th June 2015 (06/06/15)
The five months gap since the Edinburgh show allowed me and Karen to catch up with other goings-on in the music world. For example, excellent CD s and gigs by The Fall, The Nightingales, The Band Of Holy Joy, The Lovely Eggs and Shatner (who are currently very possibly the second best band in the world ever). We will certainly be making time for all five of them again as soon as possible. We also gave Kate Tempest, The Ainsley Band, Brix And The Extricated a go. Kept us busy during the hiatus. But all roads inevitably lead back to HMHB. In this case the road was the A638. Dead easy on this occasion, thanks to the 485 via Nostell, Crofton and Agbrigg. It didn’t seem quite right, getting to a gig after a thirty-minute bus ride, rather than a three-change train journey to various points north, south, east and west. But I’m not complaining. Well, actually yes I am. The bus was twelve minutes late.
I must confess to being slightly surprised by the choice of venue. When I first got wind of the suggestion that HMHB were going to play in Wakefield, I thought they would be going for the re-furbished Unity Works just up the road. No matter. What’s good for The Fall and The Undertones is good for HMHB. And I noticed that King Kurt are due there in July. The cleaners will have to work a double shift after that one. Maybe we’ll see HMHB at Unity next time they are in town. And surely there will be a next time. It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that there was near enough a full house for tonight’s show.
I hadn’t particularly been on the look-out for band mentions, but HMHB seem to have (as usual) been keeping a particularly low profile. The only reminders of their existence were the mention of “a band from Birkenhead” in an article about Dukla Prague in When Saturday Comes. And a more spurious link came in a text from Gomez who said he had seen The Solihull News refer to bogus officials operating in the area. With no reference to them being courteous, friendly, jolly or fat. Gomez also noted that during the second Test between England and New Zealand, on Test Match Special Jeremy Coney referred to the English team being in the “slough of despond”. Is there a copyright on that particular phrase? If there is, I doubt it belongs to HMHB. All changed with the media interest in the gig. One of the guys on Radio Leeds’ BBC Introducing programme enthused “That will be a cracking gig. I wish I could go to that.” The Wakefield Express gave HMHB about twice the space that Chas And Dave got for their show at The Theatre Royal. But the article (headed “ ‘The Biscuit’ Are Coming To Town” with a picture of Nigel taking up about a quarter of the page) was a Cut And Paste job. I’ve seen it on the web here and there. I’m all for lazy journalism, but we can all expect a little better than the reference to “their latest album CSI Ambleside”. There’s no such thing as bad publicity though, and that was certainly more than you get in most papers. The Yorkshire Post were brief and to the point in their Listings section, with a spot of alliteration. “Known for satirical, sardonic and sometimes surreal songs with original members Nigel Blackwell and Neil Crossley.” The Pontefract And Castleford Express featured a small picture of Nigel, with Carl in the background. There’s a first time for everything. Pre-gig, some lovely tunes were played on the PA. Not quite to the standard of the people who did the DJing at The Boardwalk a few years back, but you wouldn’t always expect to hear the likes of Evidently Chickentown by John Cooper Clarke, Nervous Wreck by Radio Stars or This Perfect Day by The Saints. (During HMHB’s set, I also noted The Saints scrawled on Neil’s acoustic guitar, along with many other band names, when they played Adam Boyle.)
If I’d known Roja were going to be the support band, I would have swotted up on their album Promises I Should Have Kept. Copies were still available at the merchandise stall. I recognised Heart Attack, The End and The Evil Stands High. But I definitely need to get clued up on the whole album. They now have a new bassist, and we agreed between ourselves that they appear to have dropped a guitarist. From talking to people, Roja are not to everyone’s taste, but they will do for me.
It was good to catch up with so many people after such a gap between gigs. The King Of Hi Vis made a special effort, turning up in a satin jacket with detachable sleeves. Maybe it was a bit warm for that, but you have to admire it when people make an effort. Dennis Bell was also noted, with his Torquay shirt and Standard Liege scarf. So who does he support if/when they play each other?
HMHB came on stage to Queimada by Ennio Morricone. Admittedly, I had to check that with Geoff after the gig. Nigel was wearing a Denley Moor Wheelers cycling shirt. Neil had his Hats Off To Steve Hanley t-shirt. I assume it’s been washed since last time. Ken had his long-sleeved checked shirt, and Carl a plain t-shirt. Don’t worry, fashion reports are not going to become a feature of these reports.
The usual bad hearing meant I couldn’t pick up everything that was said on stage, but I’ll have a go. Nigel asked if I was collecting school vouchers. He said they are starting to clutter up the house. He now operates a sound effects device which provided a declining response to repeated shouts from the Rotherham Postie of What Did God Give Us, Neil?
The line from Outbreak Of Vitas Geralitis (“Why it was you, Mr Krzywicki!”) gave me the opportunity to check the spelling of the aforementioned former Huddersfield Town (and others) player. There was a tale from the band visit to the James Herriot museum in Thirsk. Apparently the museum tells you that you don’t have to have read the books in order to get the most from the experience (Nigel points at Ken). But Nigel was also concerned to note that the tea shop closed at 3.30. However they were still letting people into the museum at 3.15, therefore not giving them time to have a look round AND have a cup of tea at the end. “We wrote this one in Rottingdean,” was announced, ahead of Numanoid Hangglide. There was some muttering between Nigel and Neil about Candidate by Joy Division. Maybe a cover version for the future? The conversation between Nigel and Tony about capos and bridges was lost on me.
“We just made this one up,” said Nigel before My Outstretched Arms. There was a bit of speculation about Ronnie Moore’s sacking as Tranmere manager. Nigel recommended viewing a fight between John Cooke and Brian McCaffrey on You Tube. That’s one from way back when. Many years ago, the band did a live session for (I think) Andy Kershaw where Nigel vocalised the flute opening of When The Sun Goes Down. Tonight he did a similar thing with the horn bits on Adam Boyle. Dennis Bell’s Torquay shirt prompted Nigel’s tale about going to see Tranmere play at Plainmoor, when there was a ban on away fans. Nigel was ready to run onto the pitch when Tranmere scored. But, being Tranmere, they failed to do so, and Nigel was able to retain his anonymity.
There was a nice line about going shopping with Iggy Pop, with “a bag for life”. Nigel said that National Shite Day was for Steven, Geoff’s son, whose presence will be greatly missed. There was excellent audience participation in the “er” bit at the end of Dukla Prague. One of the best I can remember. Neil and Ken swapped instruments for The Bane Of Constance. Nigel noted that Wakefield is the forced rhubarb capital of the world. Not that the world is all that bothered. “They don’t give a fuck about it in St Kitts and Nevis.” Nigel sang (not literally) the praises of Norton Canes services on the M6 Toll road. Tebay appears to have been knocked off the top spot. Apparently coach drivers now get a free meal there. He also mentioned childhood trips to Cardigan Bay being “fucked up” when Carla Laine bought one of the islands there.
Sorry for showing my ignorance of early punk songs. Not sure whether Alternative TV’s work is entitled “Action Time Vision” or just “ATV”, so I have gone for the extended title here. Apparently Mark Lawrenson collects Lladro figurines. And Monty Don is the best dressed person on television. Those two facts are all we need to know, apart from the songs.
Old Age Killed My Teenage Bride
When The Evening Sun Goes Down
Totnes Bickering Fair
Outbreak Of Vitas Gerulaitis
If I Had Possession Over Pancake Day
Bad Losers On Yahoo Chess
My Outstretched Arms
Joy In Leeuwarden
Stuck Up A Hornbeam
Adam Boyle Has Cast Lad Rock Aside
National Shite Day
All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
The Bane Of Constance
1966 And All That
Bob Wilson Anchorman
For What Is Chatteris
Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus
Venus In Flares
The Unfortunate Gwatkin
The Bastard Son Of Dean Friedman
99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
And in the encore there was
Action Time Vision
Joy Division Oven Gloves
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)
Just like The Jeremy Kyle Show, these evenings bring people together. Afterwards, there I was in a pub in Wakefield (the excellent Harry’s Bar) along with Paul from Leith, Tony from Birmingham and Pete from Worksop. It beats sitting in the same place with the same people having the same conversation on a Friday night. Maybe not. Maybe that’s what I’m missing. I’ll think about that for a week, before heading for Bury St Edmunds. Thanks to Karen and Tony as always for technical consultation. And to Carl for passing me his set list. There were a few discrepancies on there. Most notably, “Cliched” was due to be played. It would have been interesting to hear that one at the beginning of June, but they obviously thought better of it. But there were also several others that were dropped, while other songs which were played, had not appeared on the original list. Intriguing.
15 June 2015
Many people have enjoyed a guided tour of The Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle, courtesy of E. Oldroyd and Sons. Moreover, how is it possible to measure which band is the second best in the world. Stick to the facts.
15 June 2015
Opinionated gig reviewers, eh? Who would have thought it?
15 June 2015
dickhead in quicksand
I see what you did there.
15 June 2015
DavIe from Ayrshire
Wife and I were upgraded to a suite at the York House Hotel for no reason whatsoever. Best room booked and all that. Venue was okay but as said previously they need to think about how NSD goes live because both there and in Edinburgh it’s just one long noise. That apart, cracking gig and thoroughly enjoyed it.
18 June 2015
lee from rotherham
For everyone information the Rotherham Postie is a lifelong friend of mine and hes called Wac. 8 of us went on the train and we were boozin early, i was smashed before the start of the gig lol just the way i like it lol 🙂
B.s.E was a different story, i drove there and back but almost met my demise twice, on the way there i almost smashed into the back of a stationary car waiting in traffic joining the A14 i swerved and skidded past in a cloud of dust in the gravel and looked back over my shoulder through the window and apologised to the driver and his passenger looking at me in amazement.
On the way back i hit torrential rain 10 miles before Peterborough, i aqua planned several times but one of the times i crossed 2 lanes and was looking at my demise once again looking at plunging head long into a ravine, well down an embankment.
The gig was was amazing at wakefield especially with all my mates being there, being stone cold sober was a strange experience the venue was amazing and i was lucky enough to meet the guys after the gig and have a chat and get their autographs. thanks for that hopefully get photos with them next time 🙂
22 June 2015
Good read, Exxo.
22 June 2015
Warehouse 23 closed permanently yesterday.
24 April 2021