(and other English folk songs)
When I put the first two tapes out (‘Take Me To A Doctor’ and ‘Stop Acting Like An Adult’), I was amazed to find that people actually bought them. Well!…. That was it, there was only one thing for it and that was to keep going. The first six tunes on here were on the third cassette ’Digging’. The rest are either on here because they didn’t fit on anywhere else or are previously unreleased, if that doesn’t sound too grand. I suppose most of the stuff on here is from about 1985, I was beginning to sing a bit more and write using the more traditional ‘song’ structure!
1. The Pantomime - Written by James Harding and adapted from one of the drum tracks he came over and recorded one day for me to play with later. James’ incredible instinct for rhyming line after line after line is most prevalent here. A mysterious and unsettling call to arms.
2. Digging - After a few years to reflect, this was a critique of my beloved punk rock movement. I felt very disappointed with the end result which to me was the 80s thrash punk, annoying spotty youths playing so fast the music and the message was lost amidst the posturing and veggie right-onism. They just didn’t get it and I was fed up with being preached to by my juniors - for goodness sake, I’d only recently escaped my elders!
3. Cha! - Another one that JH left lying around for me, which turned into an instrumental with bits of Rush, The Doors and The Stranglers.
4. The Shroud - Inspired by some poem or other found by randomly opening a page in a borrowed book.
5. Are You Satisfied? - mmm...the controversial one, unless you took the trouble to ask. This is not an anti-abortion song, it’s an anti-one-particular-abortion song. But I understand why that’s not obvious.
6. Two Men In A Boat - With a drum machine ‘riff’ stolen from Cabaret Voltaire’s ‘Nag Nag Nag’, chords recorded by recording six different individual plucks on a 12-string to try and achieve a harpsichord effect, and a radio broadcast about the Paramount movie studio, this has intriguing moments.
7. !Ahc - An instrumental featuring Ian Smith-Hughes, future official Bane drummer for the first time. Tasty eastern leanings.
8. LTIPWLOWAFTGOII or ‘Long totally improvised piece with lots of weird and funny things going on it’ to give it its full title was originally on ’Stop Acting Like An Adult’ but has been moved here for convenience. Originally influenced by Brian Eno’s ‘Music For Airports’, it’s a mish-mash of keyboards, guitar, radio, white noise and a few favourite records played at varying speeds. It doesn’t always work.
9. Life Odyssey - I wrote this when I was 12 and recorded it 7 years later for inclusion on ‘Take Me To A Doctor’. It didn’t make it on account of not being good enough.
10. White Boys Can’t Dub - Another of James Harding’s drum rhythms receives attention during a flirt with reggae inspired by the then burgeoning Ipswich reggae scene.
11. Scarlet - Brought to me by Adrian, bass player with The Danserye from Bury St Edmunds, and his girlfriend, who I think was called Alison. Alison sings lead and Adrian plays bass. I just wish it was about half the length, but there’s a good song in there somewhere. Neither of us sang particularly well, it has to be said.
12. Wednesday’s Child - There was a band called The Fringe in Ipswich; I recorded them a couple of times and got on very well with their singer Jim McWilliam who I had some time previously been at school with. We decided to record some stuff as ‘Asleep At 10 ‘o’ Clock’, which was descriptive of both our lifestyles at the time, neither being in full-time employment! This song features an Ed Wenn lyric which The Fringe had recorded with me, we both liked it and Jim liked to sing it, so we did it again.
13. Waddle - The only other complete ‘Asleep At 10 ‘o’ Clock’ contribution to musical history, Jim and I made this with voices only. OK, it’s not exactly Bobby McFerrin but we had a go...
released September 28, 2012
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