Half Man Half Biscuit’s ‘Urge for Offal’ is my Album of the Week #5. I have been addicted to the music of these lads from the Wirral peninsular since first hearing ‘Trumpton Riots’ on John Peel in about 1986.
Back then they seemed to spend most of their life watching rubbish tv, emerging occasionally to sing about it (‘Dickie Davies Eyes’, ‘I Hate Nerys Hughes’), with the occasional sporting reference thrown in (‘Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus’). Then there was a move to Norfolk and the immortal ‘For What is Chatteris.. (Without You Here?)’, and its reflection on love and loss:
“One way system, smooth and commendable,
Go by bus, they’re highly commendable,
The swings in the park for the kids have won awards,
Clean streets, acknowledged in the Lords.
But’s what’s a park if you can’t see a linnet?
A timetable if your journey’s infinite?
My bag’s are packed and I’m leaving in a minute,
For what’s Chatteris without you in it.”
2014’s offering, ‘Urge for Offal’, get’s all literary with ‘Baguette dilemma for the Booker Prize Guy’, but it would win my Album of the Week award on the strength of a single line in ‘This One’s For Now’:
“Why does Mr Universe always come from Earth?”
Now there’s a question that has always bothered me. Aural joy.