Yet another example of life imitating art was a poster outside the United Reformed Church. It was inviting us in for a "Faith Lift". Was this a divine suggestion that HMHB would once again be digging deep into the back catalogue? It was something for me and Tony to consider as we tucked into a pre-gig curry at The Royal Thawa (which translates as The Royal Frying Pan, according to Tony). Then we were straight to The Brewery. The doors were due to open at 8.00. There were a few of us mingling in the bar, shuffling politely towards the entrance. When we were allowed in, the shuffle became a stampede for spaces at the front.
There was no support band, and HMHB made the tiny step up onto the stage at around 8.45. Despite the low stage, there was a lively mosh pit (with tempers running short at one point). My goodness, we even had a crowd surfer! Nigel opened up with an observation about the local Quaker Tapestry Exhibition. Later on he laid claim to his grandad being the first man in Skipton to receive an electric shock. And were Nigel and Neil really the first people to defy Torquay United's ban on away fans in the 1980s? Half way through the gig Nigel become locked into a question-and-answer session about the day he had had. For example, where did he have breakfast? Well, it appeared that the band had still been in Edinburgh at that time, with Nigel also calling into Boots. Having not arrived in Kendal until 5 o'clock, he had his tea upstairs at The Brewery (spicy wedges and dips). Maybe it was not all essential information, but it was good to know nevertheless. There was also a chat with Tony about the general works of Jim Reeves. And there was even a spot of joke-telling, about the guy who had a load of plasticine dumped outside his house, but he didn't know what to make of it. The people in "Paintball" read gangsters' novels on the beach. They also went from Lands End to John O'Groats, but raised little more than Nigel's interest. The crisps at the garage were £1.03 (for the second night on the trot), and the queue was made up of a variety of individuals who were on a sponsored time waste. One wanted some travel sweets, another was after some fire logs. Further down the queue, someone else wanted a jigsaw, and the guy behind him merely needed to check the nut content of Golden Grahams. Behind the glass was Karl with a K, who had to put down his Wordsearch (including "suggestions" and "de-odourant"). Nigel then engaged him a conversation about Jon Pertwee.
All in all, this was HMHB at their best. Certainly the best gig so far this year. Here's how it went.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
When The Evening Sun Goes Down
Totnes Bickering Fair
The Best Things In Life
Bottleneck At Capel Curig
Turned Up Clocked On Laid Off
Look Dad No Tunes
Left Lyrics In Practice Room
Bob Wilson Anchorman
1966 And All That
Surging Out Of Convalescence
All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
For What Is Chatteris?
Paintball's Coming Home
A Lilac Harry Quinn
24 Hour Garage People
99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
National Shite Day
Joy Division Oven Gloves (with a very nice bass line of "Digital" beforehand)
And the three in the encore were
Tommy Walsh's Eco House
We Built This Village On A Trad Arr Tune
And from there it was back to the Olde Fleece where the barmaid wondered why everyone was wearing a blue wristband. Our privelege. Over a pint of Jennings Cumberland, we made provisional arrangements for Cardiff in August.