A lovely piece by Taylor Parkes on the genius of Half Man Half Biscuit:
Even now, there’s still this perception of Half Man Half Biscuit as a comedy band: a post-punk Grumbleweeds, the indie Stilgoe. No group in history can have been so woefully misunderstood – Half Man Half Biscuit are, in fact, an antidote to wackiness, a bulwark against zaniness. Fiercely principled, highly literate, sometimes very close to angry, these are songs of open defiance; their real targets, more often than not, are stupidity as a leisure option, the hollowing-out of British culture, the slow death of the post-war settlement.
This bit cracked me up:
‘Excavating Rita’ is – despite its wince-inducing title – a beautifully complex song about a grief-crazed Betterware salesman whose devotion extends to necrophilia. Poignant, tragic, grimly explicit, sympathetic and horribly funny, it’s hard to imagine anyone else attempting a song like this