We left Manchester amid light rain, but on the M6 to the sound of M6-ster it absolutely lashed it down like an Indian monsoon. Time was ticking by and we did begin to wonder if we'd make it in time. Then in the middle lane we spotted the customary blue Birkenhead Van Hire 0151 666 1066 - with Ken's unmistakable head peering through from the rear. It was HMHB and we passed them to the tooting of horns and frantic waving - Nigel's look never changed! We had a five minute stop at Sandbach to change into the Dukla Prague away kit - but at least we knew they only had a five minute start on us - so they'd never begin without us. Thankfully the weather got better and we arrived just after the lads and before the support act.
The support were Murphy, a young five piece act with talent. They were excellent and entertained us with lots of guitars, a slow melody and then Jumping Jack Flash to finish.
Shortly after and the lads came down to the stage to cheers from an audience of 200 or so raving Biscuit fans. To the suprise of us regulars, they kicked off with Fuckin' 'Ell It's Fred Titmus before a short break whilst Nigel complained his guitar wasn't right and superheros Ken and Neil had to help him out and point to which knobs he needed to twist!
The set then got underway and a six-man moshpit started - it did increase slightly as time continued, but was far from the best. We had all the regulars Monmore, Vitas, Irk, Gubba and the like, but with a few changes including Time and Squadrophenia. The encore was superb with the uptempo Secret Gig and Trumpton Riots - brilliant!
There were a couple of rather pretty lasses at the front who seemed to know most of the words, but probably weren't even born when Back In The DHSS was released in 1985 - now that did make me feel old - but it's good to see young fans who appreciate the poetic genius of Nigel.
Geoff had some new lyric t-shirts for sale but had forgot the lighters - don't forget them in Sheffield, Geoff, as I want a couple.
Thanks to those that recognised me in the Dukla Prague shirt - Stuart from the e-group (mailing list) amongst others.
See you all in Sheffield and Leeds (closer to home) in a couple of weeks.