Preview: Half Man Half Biscuit at Engine Rooms, Southampton


Half Man Half Biscuit are a rock band from Merseyside, formed in the mid-1980s. They’re well known for their satirical indie rock/folk and post punk songs.

Half Man Half Biscuit’s debut album¬†Back in the DHSS was released in 1985 and got to 60 in the UK Album Chart. The title is a play on ‘Back in the U.S.S.R’ by The Beatles and a reference to the DHSS, the department of government that dealt with unemployment. After the release of their first single in 1986, ‘The Trumpton Riots’,¬†they performed at Glastonbury Festival.

In late-1986 they split up because of ‘musical similarities’, but reformed in 1990 and performed at Reading Festival. New music followed, including single ‘Let’s Not’ and a collaboration with Marki Clarke. Their third album was released in 1991 and, following a change in the members, they have gone on to release an album every couple of years since.

They parody popular styles, often singing about popular culture and geography. Throughout the 1990s, Nigel Blackwell’s (lead vocals and guitar) love of blues and folk became more apparent and they were dubbed ‘the most authentic English folk group since The Clash’ and ‘England’s greatest folk band’ by Andy Kershaw.

Half Man Half Biscuit will be performing in Southampton’s Engine Rooms on the 13th May, more details can be found here.


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Politics and International Relations graduate, Live Editor 2016-18, now a semi-functional adult and journalist. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about the above @cmkavanagh on Twitter.

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