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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… “Back In The DHSS” by Half Man Half Biscuit January 19, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....

“Dad… Who is Fred Titmus?

I was sitting down minding my own business when my son asked me that question….. Over the Christmas the old stereo had been moved from it’s previous perch hiding behind posters and leaflets in the attic to his room. Slowly he’d been going through the boxes of records , selecting a few at a time and playing them. He had come upon ‘Back in the DHSS’ by Half Man Half Biscuit. (previous TWIBMLT pieces on them here and here ) …… All of a sudden I was listening to it with him explaining all the 1980’s North West England obscure cultural references.
It started off with what the DHSS was in the first place and how the album name was a play on the Beatles “Back in The USSR”….
“God Gave Us Life” came on and references to Una Stubbs, Keith Harris, Little & Large, Thora Hird, Matthew Kelly, Wendy Craig and Lionel Blair (He Knew who Eartha Kitt was). So to the best of my ability I described the cultural significance of each! ….. Lionel Blair and Thora Hird were pretty tough going.
“Fuckin’ ‘Ell It’s Fred Titmus” wasn’t that hard only that Fred Titmus was a cricketer with Middlesex.
On then to “Sealclubbing” and playing the original David Essex tune ‘Nightclubbing’ so he could make sense of the “Me and my girl sealclubbing , me and my girl out on the ice” lyrics.
On then to “who is Bob Todd?” , looked up the old Dairylea ad, that James Dean died in a car accident, told him about Blue Peter….. Then on to “Time Flies By (When You’re the Driver of a Train)” , we found the original theme tune to Chigley and watched a bit of an episode. While we were there we found an episode of Trumpton just in case he ever stumbled across the “Trumpton Riots”.
On then to “I hate Nerys Hughes (From the heart)”. Nerys Hughes was an actress and was part of the popular show called the Liverbirds and that I had no idea why HMHB hated her.
Then to “The Len Ganley Stance”, Len Ganley was a Snooker Referee , I showed him a few pics and a video of him in action. “Venus in Flares” was easy enough just Kojak and Robert Powell .
Next track “I Love You Because (You Look Like Jim Reeves)”, Played a few clips of Jim Reeves, looked up Peggy Mount , then Tony Bastable which led to the children’s TV show Magpie.
Finally “Reflections in a flat” which led to saying who Lech Walensa, David Nixon and Ali Bongo were. That the Ali Bongo in the song was a shit magician rather than the current President of Gabon.

I’ve hidden the Aidan Walsh album ……..


1. WorldbyStorm - January 19, 2019

Probably as well with Aidan Walsh, but it’s such a great point you make re HMHB. The references are so esoteric at this remove of thirty to forty years. It’s amazing really.

Liked by 1 person

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