The Light at the End of the Tunnel


I don’t know if this is ironic, or just a palindrome or something, but on the day I consigned the September 2009 edition of The Word magazine to the recycling, with Robert Wyatt on the cover and a Half Man Half Biscuit interview inside, the postie delivered a December 1985 issue of NME from eBay, with, er, Robert Wyatt on the cover and a Half Man Half Biscuit interview inside. Neither act give any impression in their articles that they expected to still be around 24 years later.

Anyway, here’s the Half Man Half Biscuit interview from December 1985; the band had just released their first LP, Back in the DHSS, which would become the biggest selling indie LP of 1986. The interview, which features that photo of the band in the dugout, is rather anodyne, but if you read the rest of that issue of NME you’re struck by how, well, dull, most of the writing is. A feature by Peter Tatchell on AIDS, at a time when just 250 people in the UK had been diagnosed with it, is more interesting than most of the music-related material. WH Smith was advertising VHS music videos (“This is Video Clash” anyone?) for £16.99, and Parker was unleashing the rollerball on the world in a double-page colour ad.

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