Half Man Half Biscuit : Live Review

Half Man Half Biscuit have been quietly and very smartly taking the piss for nearly three decades now. Sifting through the rubbish tip of pop culture they consistently post a very sharp and witty response to the music machine. They also write great songs. Brilliant songs. Plus they exist way outside the showbiz grind. There is no promotion, no endless great reviews- just word of mouth. There’s no big noise- just these funny, quirky brilliant songs that have made the band, very quietly, very popular.

Half Man Half Biscuit
Shepherds’ Bush Empire
June 2011

Half Man Half Biscuit – on a very rare trip south – had the Shepherds’ Bush Empire throbbing with joy on Friday night.

No hits, no major record deal, not many gigs.

But the Wirral’s most hilarious post-punk combo pull a more than respectable crowd to a major London venue more than 25 years after their heyday.

It’s a testament to the underground music network, to John Peel – who championed the band, and to the quality of their observational and satirical songs about life.

One gripe. When an act relies so heavily on words the vocals should be much clearer in the mix.

I often found myself listening to the sing-along super fans around me to make sure I got the jokes.

But it was all there – subutteo, Coronation Street, and oven gloves.

In one easy-to-understand talky bit in “24 Hour Garage People” I managed to hear the classic updated line “‘1,429 friends in Facebook? Have a barbecue, see how many turn up mate’

But HMHB aren’t just about the wit.

Some of these tunes have a Buzzcockian pop-punk skill to them.

There was even a straight cover of the Dead Kennedys classic “Holiday in Cambodia”.

Half Man Half Biscuit. They make you laugh, the make you dance, they make you wonder – if I threw a barbecue how any of my friends would turn up?


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4 comments on “Half Man Half Biscuit : Live Review”

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  1. They still get a few reviews – as often as I think I can get away with, to be honest :) ….


    Really enjoyed Shepherd’s Bush myself, I’m not a fan of the venue at all but all things considered I think it was a better gig than their last London one at the Forum in 2008. Northerners – you can catch this excellent, timeless and always great fun live band this week, in Edinburgh on Thursday and Kendal on Friday – go to http://cobweb.businesscollaborator.com/hmhb/guest/index.htm for tickets. Two consecutive dates a couple of weeks after the previous one being about as close to a tour as they get… :) I’m missing them both unfortunately due to clashes with other stuff but we’ll be back for Leamington in September.

  2. spiritofrevolt

    Off to cardiff to see them August which is further than you think from North Wales

  3. It’s further than I can make from Manchester on a work night, sadly.

  4. Come and see the Biscuit at the newly opening Grand Pavilion in Matlock Bath in the middle of the Peak District, plenty of B and B’s to stay over in…

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