Friday, 20 January 2017

The Genius Of Half Man Half Biscuit #1

A little while back, I contributed yet another Imaginary Compilation to The (New) Vinyl Villain's staggeringly good ongoing series. It was my attempt at stringing together a kind of career retrospective of Half Man Half Biscuit in just 10 tracks. I had been thinking about putting a HMHB series together here for a while and took advantage of my third-party post to appeal for guest contributors to submit a piece about their favourite Biscuits song.

The response was less than lukewarm, but I have a few excellent ones to be getting on with. I'm kicking things off, then my contributors will follow. BUT... I still want more. If you have a fave Half Man Half Biscuit song and want to prattle on about it here, send me a few words (well, no more than 500 if poss) and I'll run it.

For part one, I've chosen a track that wasn't on my ICA but is one of my favourite recent songs by the band. In fact it appears on their most recent album. Old Age Killed My Teenage Bride is the story of a woman who took no risks, who lived a simple life with simple pleasures and absolutely no excitement. She died aged 101. As usual Nigel Blackwell's wry lyrics steal the show:

  She didn’t care for adrenaline sports
  Never learned any difficult chords
  Did she ever have a scrap with a bear?
  If she did, I wasn’t there
  And yesterday at a hundred and one
  She had a shower, cup of tea and a scone
  And just as Cash In The Attic came on
  Such sweet delight upon her face
  No armed response team stood outside
  No torso washed up on the tide
  It could not be more cut and dried
  Old age killed my teenage bride

But aside from the words, it's also one of my favourite Biscuits songs for the music. It's probably one of the band's loudest tracks since The Trumpton Riots came out nearly 30 years ago! Clearly old/middle age isn't killing Half Man Half Biscuit's ability to pen a decent tune. On the contrary, if Nigel was grumpy and cynical back in the 80s, just imagine how he must feel as a fellow in his 50s. Prime grumpy-old-man-aged. If that's not a source for great HMHB lyrics, I'm at a loss to imagine what is.


  1. Fantastic. Can't go wrong with a bit of Biscuit. I hope this series is an endless one.

  2. Like Webbie said - this could be an endless series. I let you know about my fave song these days, Robster

  3. Blog back up and running albeit in another guise. Any chance of adding me to your blogroll again? Cheers

  4. I'm available for writing about hmhb too
    Swiss Adam

  5. Thanks for the link to your ICA('s), which I somehow missed completely and looks wonderful. I'm off to check them out properly now and consider my own favourite HMHB tune, which I note doesn't feature amongst your own selections. Good work fella!

  6. As I wrote in the comments to your excellent ICA I love HMHB but know only a few of their songs. They were very obscure and not too available in the US during my vinyl-buying days, and I only ever had a few songs, all on compilations. So, I'm really looking forward to this series as I've yet to hear Biscuit song I didn't love.