Lapsang Souchong

by Ian Evans

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about

This is a concept album, recorded between 2006 and 2007. I finished it on New Year's eve, just by coincidence, before I went out.

For this record I wanted to make a mental masterpiece, so went all out with odd scales and rhythms (and lyrics where everything was a reference or double meaning.) I might re-record some of these tunes with better production, but this is the full concept album! ;-) It was recorded roughly at home, but has some magic I think.

The download comes with complete pdf artwork and a booklet explaining the lyrics and references.

This album is free, but donations always help. Cheers, Ian E X

credits

released July 12, 2006

Everything by Ian Evans, except the narration on Working for the Queen by Karen. Many thanks to Karen for doing it

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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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Track Name: The Cast Courts
Mission, to go to V and A Museum and see the giant 3 stringed bass of Dragonetti
Sidetracked by Shaftesbury Avenue memory loss and by the Natural History Museum, which is my favourite place
I saw the Tucsan ring meteorite. My heterotopian Albertopolis
Got to the main arch, which tests adventurers with its inscription, “The excellence of every art must consist in the accomplishment of its every purpose”

I was ensnared by the bag search, yeah…
And by Dale Chihuly’s jellyfish chandelier - Guardian of the rotunda
Into the corridor I fought the trap of the Ardabil Carpet (kept within glass, with light shone twice an hour)
Made for Shah Tahmasp in 1539
And then the Cast Courts, the Cast Courts yeah…
Parian marble for the Dacian Campaigns of Emperor Trajan
Cast for the forum in Rome and the tomb of Saint Sepaldus, carried by an army of snails

My next test was the giant hall of Rafael cartoons, with the Miraculous Draft of Fishes
And the Dacre beasts (fish, horse, griffin and bull) which can resist fire and they blocked my path with spears
I found the huge dome of the fashion section, here I faced temptations of the flesh…
Christian Joy’s designs for Karen O and the Pierre Balmain cocktail dress
It’s here I saw my goal up in the hidden chamber above the central display
Through the iron work corridor and down the secret walkway
I passed the sleeping guard to claim my prize

And then the Cast Courts, the Cast Courts yeah…
As I left the instrument room I saw a red herring… the imitation music room of Norfolk House
Where waited Sir Foster Cunliffe the headless archer, blocking my escape
And the black crown of Fred Wilson
My final test was a corridor of punk paper sculptures, called the Ante room of the May Queen
I fought off the grass to the metal exit doors and then into the brick tunnel to escape
And so the end of a good day
Track Name: Big D
Thomas Arundel, protect the Beagle captain, from your set ideas
Adam from the NHM has fallen
Coulter or Pat Condell?
Well I’m too foxed to know the difference, from Esther and Hamman
So I’m going to live my life with questions, ashamed for Alan Turing

A light you saw when poorly, might not infer rigid ideas about the earth
It might be Sutekh or Glycon or Elphias Levi (or just a bright light)
So now I’m going to walk up to the cross roads and meet a brown eyed, handsome man
And then I’m going to live my life with questions
And try to get beyond him

Oh for a shield of brazen iron
Oh for a raging sea
Oh for my heart’s desire
Big D give it to me
Oh to save just one witch’s life
Oh to do magic spells
I’ll never be anti-life. First do no harm as well
I’m leaving this diary, so everyone can see what love can do to a gentleman
Mr Lusk one day you’ll say that he gave birth, to the 20th century
So Mr D got thrown out of the heavens, just like Lord Rich of Leighs
And then he made a fortune up in Essex. Religion worked out for that git
Track Name: Hems
Instrumental
Track Name: Hark at Her
Anywhere the wind blows… there goes her and me
In the first days of us practicing, we would meet in Finchley
We were scared of singing and our voices cracked with nervousness
It’s that life I moved here to try and see

We swapped demo tapes and I called each acquaintance
To go out for drinks, or stand alone at gigs
You keep your foes close and fight to keep your loves close
Trying to impress, but you must see I’m lonely

Golden days
After uni, years of struggling for a social situation
Nothing in the country or the joy of my friends…
You graduate and expel to home towns

Singing with Alexis in an Irish pub
It was on a day in Sutton, when the rain was coming on
You put one chord down in front of another
Darlings can you hark at her?

Surely within time, I’ll stagger through the rain
To watch her in a play, on my 28th birthday
It seemed we could talk about anything
No one ever does…

Hark at her
In the Bree Louise pub, Carter Beats the devil
Hark at her
It’s raining in London, shelter under covers
Hark at her
A cat sleeps on top of the photocopier, where I work
Hark at her
A cat sleeps… under covers
Track Name: Labyrinthitis
You don’t judge character by how well you treat your equals, but those beneath you
Hardness isn’t judged by beating others, but by surviving beatings to you

Steve Ditko takes a card and colours one black half… but there should be an in between…
The left believe that everyone should be protected (even when that means that individuals can’t have millions)
The right believe that everyone should strive for riches (even when stepping on others, so they’re inherently wrong)
The theory of hurrah and boo…

If I could have one wish (as Madeleine Smith would be for J.E. Oliver)
I’d like to team up with a glamorous showgirl at Davenports Magic shop (Known to Karrel Fox and Jim Steinmeyer)
“Quelle splendide nichons” Cool as Lee Miller
Not for all the tea in China (or all the Nile in Carolina) would we want something else

Youngsters fall in love with ideals until they get something (I would advise you to get something if you can)
I’m not as hard as Geoff Senior’s angular lines or portrayal of motion
Cynics may have focus or be trapped in their barrels (or in a case like J. Bentham)
I read Sophie’s World in one weekend, to escape from real life (so I’ll never be Uber-man)
If I was as brave as Max Hasting’s Dad, I might suggest that David Hume’s my favourite one
Port please and a morsel of cheese, as I scan my books – there is a matter more brave, if I take a look
Why would he say that life is too full of things? (That’s euphoria not Nausea I’m thinking)
What I meant by that Sophie’s World comment was really true (but then I had nothing else to do)
Mauvais foi is the thing to avoid and of that I’m sure (I’d be as good as Mindy on the ocean floor)
She’s Princess Mindy to us, with her, “bag of all winds,” thing (what a labyrinth it is)
If you can stay friendly with ex-members then you’re doing fine, like the Dillinger Escape plan
Track Name: The Christmas Tape
Every year here in V.T., by the lights of our Christmas tree
Gordon, Edd, Wilson and me, make a tape for our party
In our cutting room, with the best things that we find
Light our advent crown

Mister Noseybonk is here, lighting a fag between takes
And Janet Ellis in the pool, on the Blue Peter spring break
James has brought mince pies and it’s two mins till midnight
Such a crush eh James?

There’s a cracking clip of me when I cast a boom shadow
Tripped over leads when I worked on the Wogan show
If you knew Jim like I do, you’d stay out of his way
I’ve known people who mess round but no one like him
and his mates on the staff are like me and our Jim

Happy Christmas V.T. Happy Christmas V.T.
Our Box of Delights shows this evening, last episode on Christmas Eve
Happy Christmas V.T. From the Festive 50
We borrowed a giant maggot puppet, from Colin Mapson on Doctor Who

See her knickers as she’s fleeing the Haemovore
It’s all on our Christmas tape on the cutting room floor
But if you turn away – I see a face…
He’d steal Christmas, but the boys win in tonight’s final episode
All gathered around, the floor staff can cheer
And we’ve found fun things for the party this year

Happy Christmas V.T. Happy Christmas V.T.
The Acton Hilton near Survival. We’ll have Jigsaw Log and Strato-bows
Happy Christmas V.T. From the Festive 50
We borrowed a giant maggot puppet, from Colin Mapson on Doctor Who
Happy Christmas V.T. From the Festive 50
In the days before the video, the Christmas schedule meant something
Happy Christmas V.T. Happy Christmas V.T.
Our Box of Delights shows this evening and God will bless us every one
Track Name: Winchester Mystery House
Nightly dreaming brings to her the memory of her man
His weapons swept the land and then he passed away
For her it was a pay day
I won’t let them get to me - the family house aint what it used to be
Do I have to let them in? Do I have to change these plans?

This mystery house needs rebuilding
Lights overhead spell tragedy
This mystery house needs rebuilding
Death lines ahead spell tragedy

Stairs now lead on to dead end walkways - banisters go nowhere
Mrs. Winchester has put the legacy to use
Trapdoors, labyrinthine tunnels, so the ghosts can’t find her
The most haunted lady, now planning and aloof

There is nowhere on haunted hill that a spirit could possibly be
This mystery house needs rebuilding still
Lights ahead spell tragedy

Stairs now lead on to dead end walkways - banisters go nowhere
Mrs. Winchester has built a house of leaves you see?
Each maze needs a Minotaur, you only hear the growling
But the monster just can’t find her in a House of Stairs you see
Track Name: Haughty Flower
Flower (a very complex friend)
I’m never awkward she said (her petals disarranged)
I should have guessed, the affection behind her stratagems
It’s such a secret place, the land of tears
Let the tigers come with their claws

But flowers are weak and reassure themselves
I wouldn’t feel so bothered if she were armed herself
And I’m here on my own…
One flower is just unique and thorny in her way
And it’s fine to be happy, just to look at her star
In torment to her vanity

But flowers are weak and reassure themselves
I wouldn’t feel so bothered if she were armed herself
And I’m here on my own again…
I was too young to know how to love her
Or maybe I was cautious, and the fault was with her?
There’s only social difficulty
And no grown up will ever understand that this is so important and I held in my arms…
Someone that would just hold me back

If we went out, I’d only want to be
Always romantic with her, which isn’t what she needs
Or is she softer than she seems?
Track Name: Working for the Queen
Took shilling: working for the Queen
A cat sleeps on the photocopier where I work
By my account, the villain must still be in the room now
Her crown can’t tumble, in a frenzy of Tong kukris

Port please and a morsel of cheese as I scan the books
There’s a matter more grave if you take a look, than gravy
Priest holes (with other priest holes hidden inside of them)
Which were dug up by we awesome gentlemen
Mr. Creek and Ms. Brundage
Being with other bees in the hive, we all have the same Mother Britain to lead on
And I’m chosen to soldier on

The duck press at the Savoy hotel
Next to Disraeli’s meetings - planning schemes as well
Hedges and Butler with V.R.
Alice is marrying one the guards now
By my account, the villain’s working for the Queen as well
Grad student projects in consulting detection

Narration:

Looking back to my journals, I see that it was an unusually cold morning in the November of 1892. I'd recently returned from a case in Jamaica, and was unaccustomed to the bitter chill of the Old Brompton Road. Kind readers will recall that horrific case of the mechanical skull - owned by the pirate Higgins of ill fame. As usual I had become engaged by mistake, to a young friend of my aunt Yvette, and that had left me with something of a reputation for cheekiness on the island. Under strict instructions to extricate me without causing offence, my maid had a dickens of a time forging papers and convincing the swooning beau of my unsuitability as a fiancé. As she explained, the Sultan of Morocco had himself offered 12 camels for me, but had then fainted in disgust at my unladylike lack of a corset.

As I approached the Museum, I was taken by a considerable desire for a pork pie with some mustard, and a pint of Guinness. In a moment I'd crept into a café and secreted myself at a table, my head full of the mystery that had been presented to me. The curator of the Knightsbridge Crime Museum had for many years been in possession of a kissing couch, said to have once born the weight of the murderer Paul Johnston. When the aforementioned had appeared at my office, I took the liberty of viewing him by clandestine periscope as he approached my doorknocker. Never have I seen a client in a more pitiable state of temper... I am a slight lady and, although skilled in Eastern wrestling, I cunningly hid my father's swordstick behind my back. I was fully prepared to offer the assailant a chance to taste my fists, but my surprise was great when I discovered that this brutish and dishevelled oaf was the curator of such public service. It was he who paid for my council, and I confess to wondering as to the cause of his horror, as I munched my pie.

The Crime Museum is within walking distance of a corner shop, so I was pleased to feel the comfort of a chocolate bar in my be-mittened hand, as I viewed the evidence. As the curator recounted, the sinister couch had been seized from Johnston's grasp as he attempted to engage its lethal arms. True to its masters nature, I was unsurprised to find that all the mechanical apparatus for the disposal of a human form were concealed beneath the Arabic cushion of the second seat. As I tested one of the steam-powered arms with a mitten, I shuddered at the thought of the merciless springs and greased blades within. The mechanism struck me as the mouth and arms of a giant squid (over which it would be unwise to rest oneself) and the wooden chest beneath contained a pile of socks - all that was left of the unfortunate museum staff who had been drawn in.

After dinner, my client regained his famous impression of nobility and I was pleased to see his horror averted. I was blessed with a fine payment and a choice of any item from the museum, as payment for my daring do. I'm afraid I had become very grumpy whilst wrestling the machine, and had complained bitterly at being lodged upside down for so long, my gallant companion holding my ankles. I still blush at the thought of my own language as I lost my hat, and I sat through dinner smudged with mascara and with my hair quite like a birds nest. As payment I chose a new hat.
Track Name: Snail Space
This week my chemicals seem low
No energy to overcome introversion
A lot of social bookings – too many though
I can’t get my electricity working
Or get up and go home, so I pretend to be busy when people come to work
And waste time on Wikipedia
My friends’ band have split up

I now actually feel jealous of my friend, who’s found out that he’ll be a dad
Tomorrow I’ll have to confront that other person about the room booking they’ve messed up
And they’re so much better at arguing…
And now I’ll have to wait 20 minutes to argue with the gas board, about their threats with bills that I’ve already paid
“You’d be such a good boyfriend for someone Ian, but just not for me”

What I meant was that a family seemed so right with her, but now she’s all gone
It’s more romance that I’m missing… and my chemicals are too low for the effort to be charming
It takes an effort not to be lonely and my arms are too weak to lift a phone
Modern people think that settling down to romance is a trap and their views are worthless

Most of the people that we meet on Soulmates aren’t right for us
But romance comes along so rarely and I’m bitter with their stupid choices
Could we not kiss at least? No, you decide to stay single, but then you’ll choose a man who’ll treat you badly
Track Name: 'Scuse Fingers
Rewriting mails to get the right tone of voice
Rewording for hours, which only I’ll notice
If I could only find the write words to solve the argument
Which only I’ve noticed

I’m only angry as this band or thing/relationship is so important
I’ve never told you, but every time I do
I feel that it needs one more note too

What’s so small to you is so large to me

Obviously I think it, but I can’t say
In case you get the wrong impression
I’ve been on edge for days, because I told you the truth when drunk
But you don’t seem to have been listening
I meant that us having jobs just isn’t the same, as them being more important than what we do
I’ve wanted this for a long time and I hate it that you don’t too

Excuse my fingers – I don’t know what I’m doing

I’m worried that I’m being blatant when I touch your arm
But I guess that I can’t give out the right signs
You don’t notice, but it’s all of the time
I’m sorry that I can’t love everyone all the time

I can’t come out now to the party, because you’ll be there with him
I guess that I’ve made the right decision…
But I’m lonely now that I’ve stayed in
Now I’m at a pub. I’m feeling more hopeful, meeting two strangers
You just don’t notice, but it’s all of the time
Track Name: Kensington Gore
Patisserie Valerie
Mascarpone and salmon parcels
Yvette serves tea
Harris pick me up
Absinth
Gerry’s

I wish I had some cash
Not so much for good things, but to avoid bad
Walking my tortoise Montmorency
Laduree and Harrod’s pub
Your class doesn’t have to mean, you should be proud to be stupid or abused
Nothing’s noble about being deprived
We rage against the dying of the light

Ken Gore flaneur
Nigella
Pinochet dejeuner
Yvette on the Harrod’s isles
Home Counties. Mascara. Stockings
Heston Blumenthal and Nigella, I should clarify that I like
I am in Walker’s Court
My clothes were placed in my cupboard by my enemies
Track Name: Sebek Answers Your Letters / Adam and Eve It (medley)
Sebek Answers Your Letters

1. Where does the word Trilby come from?
2. What can you find on Strand Lane?
3. Why did they arrest James Hetherington?
4. What do dolphins most often refrain?
5. Who was Jackie Comic named after? What common question and answer were on their problem page?
6. Why didn’t Benjamin Franklin write the constitution in his own hand?
7. What is the Stokenchurch shoe tree? A Corsican trap? Who is Melusine?
8. Who’s Ronnie Hazelhurst? (They say he beat Pink Floyd)
9. Who is Tony of Plymouth?
10. What was Minski’s furniture?
11. What’s at 23 Leincester Terrace?

I need you Sebek. Please answer me

12. What could you see at Dennis Sever’s House?
13. At 25 East Cheap, do you see the mouse?
14. How good are Chris Husselbeck’s Turrican scores? And the level floors?
15. What was Egyptian Hall?

In the Paddington Basin, they say that a bridge curls up into a ball

16. What sculpture can you see on the long park lands walk, from Finsbury Park to Ally Pally?
17. What happened to Wang Puzhi and his discovery?
18. Where was the first car crash in the U.K.?
19. What accident befell a man outside Zimbabwe House in the 30’s?
20. Where can I buy Screenwipe, Body Matters or Micro Live on DVD?
21. What’s on the top of the Brit Royal Exchange?
22. What is the font on the cover of this record?

And… what did Tom Robbins say was the most important question ever?


Adam and Eve It

Climbing the fence at night
Walking past the aviary and mice
She said, “I have a secret, I love you”
We’d made these grilled cheese, American things
As we both had these colds and then on her laptop, watched Sky Captain

Past the wicker sculpture in Clissold Park, we thought that we’d see the Tate Modern
Litter men put in bins by other litter men – I don’t remember the artist but it was amazing
In the evening we went to a boat by Cleo’s Needle (where I’d seen fOE, back when I had met Karen)
She’d agreed to meet some Tomorrow People fans and she explained about them
Two actors turned up, one hit on her
She did an impression of the eel on a TV screen

The next day we ate these things and walked out
The Blue Legume
The Stoked Up pub
Feeling like Eden explorers…
Daniel Defoe’s blue plaque
Mary Anne Hobbs’ house
The slender pillar box
The Metal Crumble shop...
30 minutes by the rabbits
More things than in Sports Billy’s bag…
Love’s a winnin’
Track Name: Scented Smoke
Instrumental
Track Name: Ubutique
E is the best key for metal, or for open strings
The peoples’ key and most, “bassy”
For drones or pedal note strumming
I briefly thought of the Les Paul (after Andy P)
But they’re more like Mike Tyson, while the Telecaster is Bruce Lee

A is the key of more trebly blues solos
And the nicest pentatonic box, at the nicest place on the neck
Don’t widdle scales over your mates tuning up
Never play your own thing in a jam. Listen and join in, never do your own thing

D is the key of prog and folk, suspended chords that fit easily
It’s a bit more keen and more unusual

G is the key of open middle strings, pulled on or off
And stretching your singing
Difford and Tilbrook fighting over the ocarina
Frustration with guitar lessons
It must be possible to learn a logic

B is the key of warmth and victory, nobility and anthems
But B flat is more so

The springs on the Bigsby tremolos
Properly called vibratos
In the shop, where I used to go in St. Mary’s
Keeping a band together is more social work than skill
And that’s the way it should be

And here we are again, one octave higher
Track Name: The Cockleshell
Being in my shell, the first time was awkward and clumsy
Shouldn’t this thing be the best thing in the whole world?
Spoiling your life well, if you’re thinking of guilt or shyness
It’s tough for us too… it seemed like such a lot to do
I’m not staying in my cockleshell

There is no such thing, as being good or bad at this
There is only being sensitive or insensitive
Come out from your shell - the mistakes we have are funny
Laughing makes all well
It seemed like such a lot to do
I’m not staying in my cockleshell

Hiding your flame is in fashion you see
But I’m sparking up mine, for as far as my eyes can see