Arrived in Frome at about 4pm, after a very picturesque train journey throughout some beautiful countryside, rolling meadows and that big white horse mural on the hillside.
Frome was obviously once a very nice little town, now blighted by new housing developments, DIY shops, chain shops and a LIDL supermarket. Checked into the George Hotel, a reasonable hotel about 5 minutes walk from the venue. Had a quick stroll around the handful of shops then went back to hotel for a few hours to relax and watch a bit of TV.
After Deal or No Deal, I left tv on and had a shower and when I returned to the room, Richard and Judy were interviewing Richard Wilson and Robert Bathurst (of Cold Feet fame) about a play they were in. Robert Bathhurst started talking about Half Man Half Biscuit being his favourite band, and he had been playing them to the rest of the cast, and had also slipped out in the interval of his play to see HMHB do a few songs at the Shepherd's Bush Empire [image: Shocked] he then said his favourite song was "24 hour garage man" hus losing one of the credibility points he had just notched up in my eyes. All seemed very surreal to be in a hotel in middle of Somerset to hear HMHB being discussed on Richard and Judy.
Had a quick pint in bar downstairs, portion of chips over the road, then got to the Cheese and Grain for 8pm, which is essentially a well equipped large barn-like hall, and eagerly awaited the support, a Wurzels tribute band called the Mangled Wurzels. All the posters in the venue seemed to indicate that the vast majority of bands who played there were tribute acts - U2, AC/DC, Bob Marley, Metallica, but sadly no posters for The Identical Cocteau Twins.
Had a few pints, and saw Nigel and co ghost into the venue largely unnoticed.
The Mangled Wurzels were vaguely amusing for about half a song before the joke ran thin, and the locals didn't seem too enthralled by their presence either
I took a position near the front, about two rows back, and HMHB arrived on stage to the momentous music of Tchaikovsky. Nigel was his usual chatty self throughout, mentioning local places of interest, local celebs and introduced the fresh faced Carl, the stand in guitarist in Ken's absence. Carl seemed to thoroughly enjoy his temporary role in the band, and performed admirably throughout, and beltted out the backing vocals with aplomb.
There were only about half a dozen people moshing, and most of the audience did not seem overly familiar with the post "Back in DHSS" material, but seemed to enjoy it immensely.
My most amusing memory of the gig however was on the way out when two locals were discussing "Joy Division Oven gloves "in their comedic accents. and mixed up their Tonys.
Bloke 1 "That Tony Curtis isn't too well, is he"
Bloke 2 looked at him blankly and said "The film star?"
Bloke 1 "He weren't no film star, he was just a TV presenter"
Bloke 2 "He was a big Hollywood star!"
Bloke 1 "Well, I never knew that"