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Gig, Robin 2, Bilston, Thurs 23 May 2013

June 30, 2013

“He’s got a small piece of metal in one hand

And a magnet in the other”

(Alternative theme to Homes under the Hammer)

It’s not a good sign – on embarking on any kind of trip – that both of you wish you weren’t going, and can think of ten things between you that you’d rather be doing.

First man in Wallasey to own a frisbee

But here we are at Euston, stocked up with beer and crisps, on the Virgin train to Wolverhampton.  The original plan had been to complete the ‘Asparagus Tour’ from Bristol, checking out the Quantocks, and meeting up with Stephen Crossman, a farmer from Minehead, who’s kindly offered to show us all the farm produce signs derided by Blackwell in “Asparagus Next Left”.  However, reports indicate that rain has ruined this year’s asparagus harvest leaving Stephen with other things to worry about, so instead we’re embarking on a lengthy jaunt around the West Midlands and East Wales, starting with the HMHB gig at Bilston.

Leaving our bikes at the Britannia Hotel (described quite unfairly by one reviewer as “not so much faded grandeur, as just faded”) we get a cab to Bilston, and as is becoming customary, arrive just in time for the band’s arrival on stage.

I’m getting tired of writing that it’s another great gig, because it always is.  Ken is announced as the first man in Wallasey to own a frisbee.  Blackwell reveals that he likes to watch Homes under the Hammer after walking the dog of a morning, and is fixated on the presenter’s apparent failure to detach his hands from one another, speculating that they’re held in place magnetically.  “Footprints” gets a rare outing.  There are accounts of the ruins of Halesowen Abbey, and apparent sightings of the man who played Sonny’s dad on Skippy.  A fierce debate breaks out about the correct pronunciation of “scones”.  There’s a particularly long drum solo in “Irk the Purists”, and during the encore (“Rhinestone Cowboy” again), someone is ushered out by security for lighting up.


Afterwards, we bump into Graham, first encountered over breakfast at the Cables in Matlock Bath (thanks again Roger!)  He’s officially the first fan of the Biscuit Tour, and was apparently delighted to have got a mention in the last blog.  This time, he’s come alone and is staying at the venue, which means he’s had free rein on the Tuborg, and so we have a good long chat about life, the Biscuit and everything.

Back at the Britannia, we have a few drinks with more Biscuit obsessives, including a Welsh union rep, fresh from the PCS annual conference.  Nick makes the uncomfortable observation that they all seem to be middle-aged men with relationship problems, but we try not to dwell on that, as we order one more JD and coke before bed.

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