Another brilliant album from Birkenhead's finest. Possibly the best album title too.
Trouble Over Bridgwater marked a return to form for Half Man Half Biscuit when it was released in 2000. This album is much better than it's predecessor (Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral).
The album opens with Irk The Purists which lyrically is basically just a list of band names to the tune of Hosanna To The King Of Kings (with a wonderful parody of Agadoo thrown in for good measure!).
Uffington Wassail is a much slower affair and contains the excellent line "Lazy, greedy farmers - pick your own strawberries" amongst other gems.
Track 4, Nove On The Sly, stands out because it is a dance track! A bit of a break from the usual folk/punk/rock sound. But, as always, the lyrics are the important bit.
After more quirky songs and storytelling referencing 80's band Climie Fisher and BBC sports presenter Tony Gubba we soon arrive at With Goth On Our Side which is a fantastic reworking of Bob Dylan's With God On Our Side. Complete with goth band name-dropping including the line "My overweight girlfriend, she sits and she crimps. Her Mother's convinced she's communing with Imps. Her brother's alright though, he's a good lad is Wilf. Because he's into Placebo and Cradle Of Filth"
A big surprise on this album is the inclusion of a Christmas song! Not something you'd expect considering Nigel Blackwell's pessimism about everything. However, It's Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas is a really upbeat, optimistic and hugely enjoyable song. Complete with choir and bells etc. Nigel has to have a moan, so the way around it with this was to moan about people who moan at Christmas. How ironic.
Used To Be In Evil Gazebo and Look Dad No Tunes are both about being in bands. "My life is comfortable, but I don't want that image for my band" being a particularly wry opening line to the latter.
Trouble Over Bridgwater closes with the live favourite 24 Hour Garage People. Which tells the tale of a man making purchases from an all night garage much to the irritation of the man serving "You curse my soul cos i don't want petrol. I only came down for a tube of Pringles - Sour Cream and Chive"
You get the idea.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Irk The Purists
2 Uffington Wassail
3 Third Track Main Camera Four Minutes
4 Nove On The Sly
5 Ballad Of Climie Fisher
6 Gubba Lookalikes
7 Mathematically Safe
8 With Goth On Our Side
9 Used To Be In Evil Gazebo
10 Slight Reprise
11 It's Cliched To Be Cynical At Christmas
12 Visitor For Mr Edmonds
13 Bottleneck At Capel Curig
14 Emerging From Gorse
15 Look Dad No Tunes
16 Twenty Four Hour Garage People