Live Review: Half Man Half Biscuit – The Leadmill, Sheffield 11.02.22

By Peter Morgan

HMHB’s last outing to Sheffield’s oldest existing Live venue, The Leadmill, was pre-pandemic and just after their release of what has already become a cult classic album “No One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fucking Hedge Cut “, was a sell-out. Now, on a cold night in Feb after the world had been turned on its head, bounced and now firmly back on it’s feet, in the UK at least and in terms of availability of our Live music scene, it was fantastic to see these legends from the Wirral back in every sense and playing to a packed venue.
Supporting was Danny Lowe who’s performance was solid and helped get the crowd & venue a little bit warmer and ready for action.

With such an enormous back catalogue of material to pick from and with a wide range of ages gathered to hear it, song selection can’t be easy and no two sets are ever the same, though many demanded by those who have been following for a while pick themselves!  If you’ve not heard Half Man Half Biscuit before or are wondering what to expect from their Live performance or like me haven’t seen them for a while and might be thinking ‘no way, really….surely not!!!’; yes, yes and yes…it is worth every penny of your hard-earned cash. 

The set was packed with chant-a-long, laugh out loud and feet in the air mosh pit bangers, your reviewers personal favourites of ‘Joy Division Oven Gloves’,  ‘All I want for Christmas.., ‘Trumpton Riots’, ‘National Shiteday’ and some surprise additions including a feature length version of ‘Twenty Four Hour Garage People’ adlibbed hilariously by the quick witted Nigel,  ‘Bat Walk’ and ‘Slipknot’, the latter delivering satire straight off the terraces. 

The performance had everything you would expect. Their lens still firmly over the grey societal mainstream mush and songs still pulling no punches, having lyrics with equal quantities of humour and rage, confronting the misplaced priorities of suburbia or celebrating the local heroes and back yard celebrities who we all recognise in our friends, selves or neighbours.

It included what I think was an exclusive introduction to awkward Sean who’s song was written back stage and refined on stage, ‘Live’, proving the confidence that Nigel, Si, Neil and Paul have in themselves, their fans and their love of the live performance. 

The not so quiet moments between tracks or stops to refuel, were filled with familiar heckling and crowd banter, which at times made it like a stand-up performance interspersed with music.

Overall it has to be said there was a lot packed into the almost two hours on stage and in the pub later there was a buzz about what we’d seen and heard. If you get chance, go see them, you are one of the lucky ones…

Find out more about the band via their Website

Purchase tickets for the rest of the tour here

Previous Live Review: The Paper Kites/Hollow Coves/Kat Edwards, Odeon Theatre, Hobart 11/02/22.
Next Film Review: A Banquet

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