At moments like this, it's easy to reach for clichés, but I mustn't. Honestly, though, I feel the hand of history on my shoulder. After 30 years, Dean Friedman has had his revenge on Half Man Half Biscuit, and I had a hand in making it happen.
It went like this. Five years ago and more, I met Dean, best known in the UK for a handful of schmaltzy hits in the late 1970s, at the Assembly Bar in Edinburgh, during his first run on the Fringe. We got on very well, and I was soon pointing out to him that Half Man Half Biscuit, “England's greatest folk band” (according to Andy Kershaw) - who have a song entitled "The bastard son of Dean Friedman" - were playing in the city and we could maybe go and see them. Dean knew the song well, and he was keen to go. It turned out to a tremendous night, with a great band, very friendly people, and a fairly large dollop of “I can’t believe this is happening”, as the article below will tell you.
Fast forward to last weekend. On Groundhog Day, Dean emails me for the first time in a couple of years; I point out that there is a Half Man Half Biscuit Society on Facebook, which I have just joined. Dean immediately joins the group, and straightaway pastes up a song mocking Half Man Half Biscuit, getting in his revenge after ... must be nearly 30 years after The Bastard Son was written.
You can read the lyrics of Dean’s song and the Biscuits original at the end of the article, which is from August 2003.
Pix: Above is Dean, on the night of the Gig. Below is Nigel, at the Liquid Rooms again, last autumn. Half Man Half Biscuit have a gig in Glasgow in May; Dean is hoping to play the Fringe again this year.