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Saturday 30 November 2019

Authentic Celtic Band

It's December tomorrow and, unavoidably, the start of advent. Half Man Half Biscuit have a line for most occasions and today's is from 2009's Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo' (the owner of the limb in question is pictured above, either Pete Doherty or Carl Barat, or both). Nigel Blackwell takes them to task for many things, not least this-

'Advent on the high street
I point and sing
Busk when it's Christmas
You only busk when it's Christmas'

Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo

Achtung Bono, the album this song is from, is peak HMHB. Every song, all fourteen of them, is a laugh out loud funny, damning indictment of modern life. In Shit Arm, Bad Tattoo Nigel Blackwell deals with The Libertines-

'I could have put my head in a bucket full of porridge
And moaned about the hospital parking scheme
I would have saved fourteen pounds
That I just splashed out on your second album
For that’s what it’s akin to
And furthermore
You’ve got a shit arm, and that’s a bad tattoo'

The word 'furthermore' isn't used enough in popular music. 

Then he takes to task people who put the letter S onto the end of the Book Of Revelation (and those who do the same to Mary Hopkin). Unfortunately Pete and Carl do this in What A Waster-

'When she wakes up in the morning
She writes down all her dreams
Reads like the Book of Revelations
Or the Beano or the unabridged Ulysses.'

Just before the guitar solo he sings 'authentic Celtic band'. I've always assumed this is also a tattoo reference but it could be a musical group I suppose. 

No Christmas songs here, not yet anyway. 


keepingitpeel said...

An advent calendar of HMHB tunes ? Ah gw'an.

Swiss Adam said...

Ha. That's not a bad idea actually.

Anonymous said...

I was once in a band with a bassist from Burbage
That were booked to support a Half Man Half Biscuit gig
But Andy from the Charlotte, which had dropped its royal patronage
Dropped us from the bill so Nigel could get home for an early tea

You can have that Nigel.

Swiss Adam said...


Rol said...

I love this album but I never knew so much of Nigel's ire was directed at the Libertines. Brilliant.