The Manchester Academy 1 is a stark contrast to the St. Leonard's Sports and Social Club in Stafford, I didn't find myself falling head first into one of the stage speakers (brilliant) and the gig was rather legend. I haven't seen them since they were in Liverpool in 2005 but they were definitely worth the wait.
I totally missed the support band but I'm sure they were alright...bless them.
We managed to scoot our way right to the very front, bypassing the clusters of fans that I recognised from other gigs. HMHB started with Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo; one of my favourite tracks from Achtung Bono (my friends and I dedicated it to my friend who has recently got herself a tattoo.) After that, even the security guy standing at the front couldn't fail to be impressed by the old favourites like Vatican Broadside, Numanoid Hang-glide, 24-hour Garage People, 4 Skinny Indie Kids, Everything's AOR, and my very favourite track, Albert Hammond Bootleg. Their new tune Blue Badge Abuser was excellent as well. They even came back and did an encore, doing a Fall cover and We Built This Village on a Trad Arr. Tune, another great from Achtung Bono.
Another highlight of the night, I finally looked upon the faces of the guys who spend the whole gig shouting "WHAT DID GOD GIVE US NEIL?" to which Nigel usually replies with something humorous such as "Domingo Hospital" (whom, I'm reliably informed, is a golfer.) I say it was a highlight, but I wasn't very impressed by the fact they wear cardigans.
Finally, we left the gig and outside there were dodgy looking men selling fake Half Man Half Biscuit tshirts....that's just WRONG!