Archive for april, 2016

URGE FOR NIGEL: an interview with Nigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit

april 26, 2016

Michael Stewart

bloodlustNigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit fame is an elusive figure in popular music, who has spent many years avoiding interviewers from many prestigious publications, so I feel very honoured that he was happy to answer the questions I had after listening to the latest album Urge For Offal. It’s as good as anything the band have done and if you haven’t listened to them for a while, it’s a great introduction to where they are now.

Right, first question: there’s a touch of John Shuttleworth on the new album. I’m thinking of the line about the beach having a ‘blue flag status’. How do you feel about that comparison?

John Shuttleworth – I must own, I haven’t really listened too much as I’m not particularly an avid radio listener but I did like Jilted John of course.

Urge For Offal has just made the Top 40 album charts…

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Mark E Smith in conversation with Michael Stewart

april 26, 2016

Michael Stewart

To mark the tenth anniversary of the Huddersfield Literature Festival, below is a transcript of my conversation with Mark E Smith in 2009 at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.

MES poster2

MS      Thanks very much for coming along Mark. Welcome to Huddersfield. I know I’ve already spoken to you before about this, but I think a lot of your fans will want to know, so let’s get the hip out of the way first of all.

MES    The hip ?

MS      The hip yes. How is the hip? How did you break your hip? And how is it now?

MES    The hip priest. Have  you  bought  any records in  the past  twenty years ?    [the intro music was The Hip Priest].

Audience laugh.


MS      No I just download them.

MES    Oh right. No, it’s fine now. I’m just glad to stand up.

MS      Because  you  had  a theory about this…

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