Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Wonderful Dexterity of Hannu Mikkola

There are three things I know about Finland, namely:
1. It is the home of Nokia
2. They drink a lethally strong liquorice flavoured vodka
3. It is the home of rally driver Hannu Mikkola
The second fact I can thank Mr S of Salford for - but my knowledge of Hannu's wonderful dexterity (which makes me want to shake hands with the whole of that nation) comes from Half Man Half Biscuit and the opening line to 'Architecture, Morality, Ted & Alice'.

In my review of HMHB's Manchester gig I suggested (an unoriginal demand) that Nigel Blackwell should be made Poet Laurate. His powers of observation, satire and sarcasm are brilliant and equally matched by his genius use of language. And all this is celebrated in Chris Rand's exceptionally good HMHB Lyrics Project site. There may be others but as Chris says:

Trouble is, like darts in soap operas, most of them are so wrong. So with too much time on my hands, obviously, I’m trying to rectify the situation, and not only build a complete set of lyrics, but actually get them right (with a lot of help from your comments and corrections). It may take years. Should you have already transcribed any lyrics yourself, and want to contribute them, please email me and contribute to the cause.

So as well as "120 pop songs picked over by pedants" which you can search by song or album, you can leave comments, subscribe via RSS or email for updates, view news updates of HMHB lyrics in the media, info on gigs and bootlegs and even contribute your PBRs (“life is a Perpetual Biscuit Reference”). My favourite of these is from 'Jan' on 27 March this year:

"Sometime ago, Number One Daughter was invited to Avebury at Halloween. She came home full of tales about the folk she had met, and handed me a present, a little notebook made from handmade paper. “Oh, lovely,” I cried, “but why this? What is it?” “Mother,” she retorted, “I’m shocked. Don’t you know a quaint notepad for weekend pagans when you see one?”"
If you don't get this go here and listen below.

Now surely this is what the interweb was invented for? Andy (from Everything's Swirling) wrote a couple of months ago (OK nearly a year ago) about his favourite fan sites many now sadly neglected. He is also the creator and author of the pretty-much-definitive Galaxie 500 fan site A Head Full Of Wishes which, although with not as many laughs as the HMHB Lyrics Project, is still worthy of your attention and your bookmarking. In these days of corporate ownership of 99.9% of the internet, it's great to be reminded that there are people like Chris and Andy who are selflessly using the web and associated technologies to share and celebrate what they (and we) love.

And a final HMHB-related item from me. Ms N's upcoming birthday was celebrated recently with the presentation of some ornamental Joy Division Oven Gloves.

Let's leave the last words to Nigel via Chris's site:
I’ve been here and I’ve been there
In me Joy Division oven gloves
I’ve been to a post-punk postcard fair
In me Joy Division oven gloves
Ooh ooh Nagasaki towpath
Ooh ooh tickling the laird
Ooh ooh checking out the Quantocks
In me Joy Division oven gloves
In me Joy Division oven gloves

Joy Division Oven Gloves

Although the last word may actually go to Mrs A who has taken recently to leaving comments referencing HMHB lyrics. Not that she needed any more ammunition, but I think I may have just muzzle-loaded a large blunderbuss...

Half Man Half Biscuit
Back in the DHSS

Half Man Half Biscuit
Trouble Over Bridgewater [BUY]


High Priestess of Punk-chew-ation said...

No time to comment. There's a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Millets and I don't want to miss the fun.

Cherry Hinton Blue said...

Thanks for the links. I'm still on target to get all the lyrics up by, ooh, about 2020. Until then, it's back to becoming increasingly frustrated with the grooming agitator on my lime Dyson. - Chris R

Andy said...

Chuffed to be sharing space with Hannu Mikkola and HMHB and I swear I found this because of a Galaxie 500 search and not becvause I was googling myself! Thanks!

The Archivist said...

Credit where credit is due, I say. And spookily Galaxie 500 is playing on shuffle as I type (sometimes life is a "Perpetual Dean Wareham reference"??!)