What if you were a band from Great Britain that was really, really good for a long time? And what if you wrote funny songs in many styles and were one of John Peel’s favorites? Additionally, what if none of the American Indie rock geeks this writer has been associating with for the last 17 years had told him of your greatness?
Let’s take this a step further and pretend (hypothetically, of course) that this writer had used the privilege of bit torrent technology to recently download and consume every episode of the aforementioned Peel’s Festive Fifty. While we’re talking about it, let’s say this writer had just finished listening to 2004-1998 in reverse chronological order and thereby heard a bunch of your later period work, including the “Vatican Broadside” (a quick swipe at American culture and history based on a current event involving Slipnot) and the near perfect band anthem “Look Dad, No Songs,” which ends with the glorious refrain “We Better Let Him In/I’ve Heard he’s Got a Theremin?”
If that’s the case, you are Half Man Half Biscuit, and you are my new favorite band.
I had this realization at approximately 12:30 am on October 27, and my next logical step was to check out some live clips on Youtube (where I was glad to learn that The Biscuit is even better live), read their Wikipedia entry and study their discography until 1 a.m. despite having work the next morning. Such is the burden of the chronic music junkie.
In so doing, one thing that struck me was the genius of the band’s song titles. Here are my ten favorites.
10) 27 Yards of Dental Floss
9) 99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd
8) Time Flies By (When You’re The Driver Of A Train)
7) 13 Eurogoths Floating in the Dead Sea
6) Rod Hull Is Alive – Why?
5) Tonight Matthew, I’m Going To Be With Jesus
4) If I Had Possession Over Pancake Day
3) Whiteness Thy Name Is Melatonin
2) Joy Division Oven Gloves
1) Thy Damnation Slumbereth Not