Run V​.​T.

by Ian Evans

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1.
Nerva Beacon 02:59
2.
W12 7RJ 04:11
Christmas week in 2011 Waiting at Wood Lane With my new, Nelson, graphic novel and Ghost’s album in my brain Ayse’s knife was taken from her by security But not their one armed man… Approaching a mosaic building; a question mark drawn on a napkin W12 7RJ Means more to me than Hollywood. Yay! The real, BBC2, black and orange clock was not a graphic The real Gordon the Gopher! The model Tracey Island, in cereal boxes! Christmas beers with all and pregnant Liz, in the Defector's Weld There’s a mistake they made earlier… Moving to Salford Answers on a postcard please Roy Castle tapping on the fountain Brian Blessed putting a johnny on the golden statue Jimmy Saville seemed mostly harmless in this winter scene Not so much by Halloween W12 7RJ Means more to me than Hollywood. Yay! References: * Wood Lane – The road in west London, where BBC Television Centre is. Before Christmas 2011 I booked a tour of the building with a group of friends * Nelson – A brilliant graphic novel, which I had in my bag at the time. It has several artists creating a page each (an “exquisite corpse game”) The first section is about the birth of the heroine, “Nelson,” which chimed with me at the time, as my wife was so near to giving birth * Ghost – A Swedish band, who played very good and traditional 70’s rock music (and dress as Satanists :-) Their first album reignited my love of metal and I had it on my iPod that day * Ayse’s knife – Ayse is one of my mates, who came on the Television Centre tour. She plays bass and is a lovely person. Crazily she had a knife in her bag, which seemed unlikely! It was only a pen knife * The one armed man – I saw a documentary about Television Centre shortly after my visit. They apparently had a one-armed security guard for many years * Mosaic building – The reception is beautifully tiled * A question mark drawn on a napkin – From above, the building looks exactly like a question mark. It was a lucky accident, when the designer was doodling in a restaurant and realised that the shape could fit multiple studios around a central circle * W12 7RJ – The postcode of Television Centre, which was always mentioned on children’s TV in the 1980’s, when they invited you to write in to competitions * It means more to me than Hollywood – This is true! I love the BBC and its programmes. Seeing the building where they filmed Genesis of the Daleks and Blue Peter made me shake with excitement, whereas the Hollywood sign just made me nod to myself and smile briefly * The black and orange clock – This was shown on BBC2, before each programme in the 1970’s. Incredibly it wasn’t done with CGI, but a real clock that they stuck in front of the camera (obvious in retrospect, as they wouldn't have had access to CGI in the early 80's). We actually got to see the real clock!! * Gordon the Gopher – A puppet mascot on children’s BBC for several years when I was young * The model Tracey Island – On Blue Peter, they once showed kids how to make one of these models from cardboard. It became their most popular design (as Thunderbirds was being repeated and was loved by kids). Our tour guide didn’t point it out, but the original model from Blue Peter was in a cabinet we passed! * Liz – My wife, who was 7 months pregnant at the time and met us afterwards * Defector’s Weld – A nice pub, at the end of Wood Lane on Shepherds Bush Green * “There’s a mistake they made earlier” – When Blue Peter presenters make models, they always jump to a more finished one, with the catch phrase, “here’s one I made earlier.” * Moving to Salford – I believe that this was a mistake. Just before 2011, the BBC relocated some of their TV work to a new campus in Salford. It’s incredibly sad, as the studios are hallowed ground. Also, it takes something away from the world’s best city and the BBC's atmosphere * “Answers on a postcard please” – Another phrase from the 1970’s and 80’s, when people were invited to write in to competitions * Roy Castle – TV presenter of Record Breakers, who played the trumpet and lead the world’s biggest tap dance (around the Television Centre fountain) * “Brian Blessed, putting a Johnny on the golden statue” – Brian Blessed is a British national treasure! I love him. He’s a champion mountain climber and has an hilarious bellowing manner. He once climbed the fountain at TV Centre, to put a condom on the nude statue at the top. It’s the sort of thing he’d do (and then bellow excitedly of course!) He’s great in I Claudius. * Jimmy Saville – Jim’ll Fix It presenter in the 1980’s and one of BBC1’s longest serving DJ’s. At the time we had our day trip, he was reasonably well liked…. * Halloween – By Halloween the next year, Jimmy Saville had died and it was posthumously discovered that he’d been a long-term child abuser. He became Britains most hated man.
3.
Coptic Rock 01:19
4.
I’m a hippo, swimming in a lake I’m a hippo and I like to eat cake I’m a hippo, cute as can be I like to wear a hat and a nappy I’m a hippo, swimming in the sea I’m a hippo and I like to eat peas I’m a hippo, cute as can be I like to eat cheese and old CD’s
5.
China Life 01:12
Before Tobes came to life, I bought a Hammer box set And used to watch them some nights before bed Wheatley’s quite right wing - No Barbara Steele The Devil Rides Out is exceptionally cool They often end with the villain plunged to earth And heroes affected, as they watch above A striking set peace in Plague and Reptile Quatermass has a truly real devil… Not as great as telly, when the beast dropped for real The Witches had a screen play by that Mr. Kneale After Toby appeared, we couldn’t watch films So instead put on digibox recordings… Always missing the ends, when he woke up for a change A doc on Peter Green and I’d doze off each view They were like déjà vu A doc on Television Centre I wish I could see Think Again, with Johnny Ball’s compartments, again Like Acid Witch, Bongripper and Beelzebong… The doc mentioned a lot of being stoned Then I recorded Joe Meek’s Telstar film And I became a bit obsessed with him… The young Chas Hodges and Albert Lee Joe being from Gloucester His brothers’ hilarity Heinz and Geoff Goddard, conjuring with he “The good thing about living in London is that you can see places for real on a whim… I went and stood outside Joe Meek’s old flat, one lunchtime. There’s an amazing pub called the Coronet, which is like a cathedral sized cinema. Holloway women’s prison and a walk up to Dick Whittington’s cat statue, which is protected in an iron cage. Emirates Stadium and the Garage.” References: * China Life – The name of a shop on Camden High Street, which sells Chinese goods. I’d always thought it would make a good song title and this tune immediately seemed to fit it. It’s a metaphor for my weird life as a new parent, when everything seemed fragile and unsettled. I also like to take influences from my environment and naming songs after local shops is a noble tradition of the Monsoon Bassoon and Gorgops. * Tobes – My new baby son, Toby * Hammer – A British horror film company * Dennis Wheatley – A, quite right-wing thriller writer, who had two of his Satanism books made into Hammer films * Barbara Steele – An actress from 1960’s horror films, who was quite Bohemian and certainly not right wing * The Devil Rides Out – Perhaps the best Hammer film, based on the Wheatley book * “They often end with the villain plunged to earth” – I noticed this cliché, after watching 20 or so films. It works well * The Plague (of Zombies) – A lesser-known Hammer film, but excellent in parts. It has one particularly striking scene, where a zombie suddenly appears * The Reptile – Another Hammer film about a woman turning into a lizard monster * Quatermass – A wonderful sci-fi drama from the 1960’s, remade as a film by Hammer. The film version has a strikingly real depiction of the devil at the end (or the alien that inspired the devil at least) * “The beast drops for real”- The classic scene in Quatermass and the Pit is when the alien corpse drops! Everyone jumps * The Witches – Another Hammer film, which the Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale actually wrote the screen play for * Mr. Kneale – Nigel Kneale is one of the most influential television writers of all time * Digibox – A device in the 2000’s, which first allowed live TV to be paused and recorded * A change – A nappy change! * Peter Green – The original guitarist in Fleetwood Mac, who did a few genius tunes. This song is mostly about the TV programmes and films that I tried to watch in bits during my baby duties. One of them was about him * Déjà vu – I was so tired as a new Dad – I couldn’t really tell what I had and hadn’t watched already * Television Centre – This is described more fully in my song “W12 7RJ.” One of the TV shows I struggled to watch was a wonderful tribute to this building * Think Again – A science show for kids, presented by Johnny Ball in the 1980’s. I really loved his manner and the secret compartments on the set * Acid Witch – At the time of writing this song I discovered a few, “stoner,” bands, who are largely American, light hearted tributes to other bands. For example, Cannabis Corpse write Cannibal Corpse-themed songs, but all about weed! Weirdly, a lot of them are really good bands in their own right, especially Acid Wich, Beelzebong and Bongripper (off the top of my head) * Beelzebong – A cannabis themed doom metal band who I really like * Being stoned – The documentary about Television Centre mentioned several stories about kids TV presents being stoned on set * Telstar – The first British number one single in the U.S., recorded by Joe Meek. It’s wonderful and named after a 1960’s satellite * Joe Meek – Another of the videos I’m referencing in this song was the Joe Meek Biopic film, “Telstar.” I loved it! I became a bit obsessed with his story, which is well worth reading about * Chas Hodges – A musician from Chas and Dave, who was one of the most famous session musicians in the 1960’s. He’s played in the Telstar film by Ralf Little * Albert Lee – One of the world’s best guitarists, who played with Chas Hodges in the band “Hands, Heads and Feet” * Gloucester – Joe Meek’s hometown. He looks very suave in photos and I was surprised to find out that he had quite a rural accent * Heinz – Joe Meek’s ingénue and lover * Geoff Goddard – Joe Meek’s regular songwriting partner, who also joined him in spiritualism and séances * Joe’s hilarious brothers – In another doc about Joe Meek that I tracked down, his brothers do an odd report on his favourite foods, including sausages. It’s odd! * Joe Meek’s old flat – This can be seen on Holloway Road in London. I always go for a walk to a new bit of London on my lunch breaks * The Coronet – A nice pub on Holloway Road, which is built in an old cinema. It’s almost next to Joe’s old flat * Holloway Prison – A women’s prison nearby * Dick Whittington’s cat statue – This is quite cool. It’s on Holloway Road and marks the supposed point where Dick Whittington heard the bells of London, calling him back with his pet cat * Emirates Stadium – A giant football stadium off Holloway Road, owned by Arsenal FC * The Garage – A music venue in Highbury; close to Joe Meek’s old home
6.
Animal 00:59
When you’re born you have a body, which you don’t know is one You have to discover what is you and what is separate (son) The things that you’re seeing are the same things that you touch And that thing poking you in the face is you (you’ll learn) I am an animal! Made from 50% of human lovers Like a colony of cells in mutualism We are two animals! You’re an object and there are other objects Some feel like you, but vary with experience Be glad to be an animal! Although it’s annoying to be objectified, humans are objects with traits that can be recognised All the descriptions of paradise copy from our material universe There is nothing better than what we’re feeling If your body was designed to receive things, it might make you inclined to be more choosy and to want things right If you had a sting that wasn’t barbed, it might make you freer about wanting to use it References: * “When you’re born, you have a body which you don’t know is one” – This is true of babies. They don’t know whether things they’re sensing are part of them or separate * “The things that you’re seeing are the same things you touch” – I thought this was an interesting idea – if you were newly born, you wouldn’t realise that the colours, sounds and touches that you’re sensing are impressions of the same things * “That thing poking you in the face is you” – Babies hit themselves and get upset, because they can’t control their arms and don’t realise that it’s them doing it! * “Colonies of cells in mutualism” – Some biologists have suggested that animals are communities of single celled organisms teaming up * “You’re an object and there are other objects” – I love this idea! When you arrive in the universe you have to work out what you are and how you should and can relate to other things * “Be glad to be an animal” – Damn right! We’re so lucky to have our thoughts and bodies * “Although it’s annoying to be objectified, humans are objects with traits that can be recognised” – I was thinking about feminism here and how women might complain about being objectified... They’re right of course, as most men are turned on by visual stimuli and could be attracted to a woman with no personality at all. That doesn’t mean that they *don’t* see women as people though, just that their fantasies don’t necessarily rely on it. Mine certainly do, but I think the whole point of fantasising is that it *is* a fantasy... It’s a way to have fun with your imagination in a harmless way. You might not want to be a sex object, but everyone’s body *is* an object and it does have sexual characteristics, which others recognise. It’s how they handle that that’s an issue * “All the descriptions of paradise copy from our material universe” – Nietzsche said this... Religions always promise, “40 Virgins,” or, “seeing your loved ones again,” or whatever it is in their heaven! Those are *material* pleasures though - they’ve stolen their ideas from the *physical* world, in which we’re living now. That’s how we can tell that people made religions up * “If your body was designed to receive things…” – I’m saying some slightly rude things here, I guess! If you were discovering your physical self and realised your genitals were designed to *receive* something, then you’d probably become quite picky about it (and either turned on by the feeling you were being respected, or going against that and getting a kick from it). If you discovered that your body was designed to be a potential giver, you’d think differently. People cope with the universe based on what sort of body and background they’re in (and other stuff of course). * “If you had a sting that wasn’t barbed…” – As I say above, animals behave in ways that fit their bodies. Bees die if they use their stings, so are quite friendly, whereas wasps are little thugs who don’t care if they get into a fight! Also, I’m obviously still being rude here aren’t I?
7.
Spag Bol 01:03
8.
Two weeks before the labour, we met a cockroach neighbour I’ve only once before murdered - with a rolled Shortlist paper I regret you cockroaches can come to your deaths In my old bedsit when I lived with Lex Our sensors met and we went at it, like ancestral foes Now it is two years later I’m about to be a father… No longer angry from love but Protective and displaced here It’s so sad when you move into a house And feel that your life’s been tossed up - however it might be nicer You don’t know where to buy milk or work the lights I regret that you’ve met my defensive side Related to mantids and with similar heads, if you look Their cerce detect pressure from passing boots Only at times are they radiation proof It’s during certain moults and when hatching in groups Addicted to bug powder and foaming for vengeance Came the dude to Barking, to lay down some traps and glue I’ve never hurt a fly or a deathwish beetle I regret, you Blatodea, we now sing in praise of total war References: * “I’ve only once before murdered” – I’m referring to the only previous time in my life where I killed a cockroach - A sad business! * The Shortlist – This is a free men’s magazine in London, which deals with films, clothes, comedy and music reviews etc. A copy was in my hand when I last saw a cockroach and so it became the murder weapon! * “My old bedsit, when I lived with Lex..” – This was the scene of the crime and quite a rough flat with a cockroach problem. I lived opposite my best friend Lex, during the writing of the Gallows Man CD - Her kindess and company really helped me through a terrible time * “Come to your deaths” – This is a quote from the Doctor Who episode The Sontaran Experiment, and is said by the Sontaran scout * Our sensors met – I’m implying that my killing of the cockroach was like a cowboy showdown. It was a bit! I came home, opened the door and he was the first thing that I saw… There were a few moments of silence as we stared at each other and then I went for him with my newspaper * Ancestral foes – I’m implying that humans and cockroaches are ancestral enemies… They evolved alongside us, so this is partly true. According to an episode of QI, cockroaches are as repulsed by humans as we are by them and wash themselves if touched * “Angry from love” – During the time I lived with Lex I was deeply in love with one of my close friends, which largely inspired the Gallows Man album. I’d never have normally hurt an insect * Protective and displaced – When people are scared or have something to lose, they’re at their most defensive/offensive * Related to mantids – Cockroaches are closely related to praying mantids and have the same triangular heads * Cerce – These are the two prongs on cockroaches’ bodies, which detect changes in air pressure * “Only at times are they radiation proof” – It’s commonly thought that cockroaches are immune to radiation, but that isn’t completely true. They just breed in large numbers and are only vulnerable at certain times - therefore, they can still be killed by it, but would likely have already laid eggs which would survive the fallout * “Addicted to bug powder” – In the book Naked Lunch, by William Burroughs, a pest controller becomes addicted to his bug powder. (The chap who came to tackle our cockroach problem was quite eccentric himself and made a lot of comments about his bitter divorce) * Traps and glue – He put down some cardboard traps, which contained an attractant and glue to catch them * “I’ve never hurt a fly” – This is true. I hate to kill any animal and have only ever once hurt an insect before. (It was the one that met its end under the rolled Shortlist magazine). I don’t think I’ve ever killed a fly, so I’m pretty sure that it’s literally true in my case * Deathwish beetle – This is a bad pun that I thought of as a kid :-) It’s a mix between Deathwish and Deathwatch (ie. Deathwatch beetle) * Blatodea – One of the groups of cockroach species * “We sing in praise of total war” – Another Doctor Who quote, from The Kings Demons
9.
Domino Day 01:07
When I was five I gave a name to the day before Christmas Eve It’s Domino Day, after the logo of a book from school The dots increased, with harder sums and spelling for older kids And on the day, I decided to invent and draw my own book Copying the logo, as Jason’s Argonauts played on TV Grandma said cwtch and you don’t need to think of school Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve And I still call the day (this day) Domino Day References: This story is all true of course - I liked and was also scared by my nursery school, so drawing my own version of a school book was probably an attempt to control my fears and also express my love of designing things. My Grandma was wonderful and watched me excitedly, until a point where she said it was the Christmas holiday and I could afford to relax and watch an exciting film instead. It was Jason and the Argonauts and Ray Harryhausen’s genius films are still shown a lot before Christmas in England. I love them and strongly associate them with Xmas. Cwtch is Welsh for cuddle.
10.
Question: Where will the nighted showman go? Answer: To East Ham... and other places Candlemass director's commentary Amazing Slade evening on BBC3 Now Lidl's immitation Baileys starts my first Christmas with Liz and Toby A lemon and milk I'm sent to buy Toby smiles to all the passers by The Denmark and the Ruskin Arms Eight month old dancing to Jon Poole's pledge album Kate Bush has won a CBE Dance to it with Toby as Liz pre-cooks our first turkey We’ve recently been dancing to a Stevie Wonder CD I bought specially Kieron Leonard's records are recommended by J. Carty So many Christmas treats for me As I sort out Skype to chat to my family Someone has uploaded the first Monsoon Bassoon clip I've ever seen Christmas joy on the next morn Master of Reality and iwrestledabearonce Bucks Fizzes as recommended by Sealett And smoked salmon bagels for breakfast The last time I went to East Ham A painful shallow latch and a Rush fan pack A key ring of the Clockwork Angels clock Collecting a breast-pump from Leytonstone Wanstead actually being posh I saw the West Ham market and castle turrets The kill your wife sign is sexist in more than one way (which is rare) The last time I walked along Green Street On my first time alone in weeks The Doctor Who shop showed me their stuff and remembered Liz They have the actual hand of fear and Metebelis Crystal too A real Foamasi and Kane's German helmet in a back room References: * "Where will the nighted showman go?" - This is a chapter title from The Box of Delights, a favourite Christmas story of mine. I previously referenced it in my other Christmas song (The Christmas Tape) and also used another of it's quirky chapter titles as a song title (Leave Us Not Little Nor Yet Dark) * East Ham - A region of east London which is still traditionally working class and non-gentrified * Candlemass - A Swedish doom metal band whose first album I enjoyed around this time. Their album has a director's commentary on it, which is hilarious * Slade - Genius glam rock band of the 1970's. There's not much better in life than Christmas food and drink with that sort of TV on, in a warm house in winter * BBC3 - A BBC youth/comedy channel * Lidl - A cheap but really interesting supermarket, where we'd just started to shop in. It's German and has quite exciting stuff * Imitation Baileys - Lidl sell a lot of food and drinks which are shameless copies of other brands, but just as nice or even better * A lemon and milk I'm sent to buy - On the East Ham trip described in this song I was on a mission to buy these two items, for one of my wife's Xmas recipe plans * The Denmark Arms and Ruskin Arms - Two pubs in East Ham. The Ruskin Arms is where Iron Maiden played many of their early gigs. Now sadly closed, which is mind-blowing short-sightedness by someone * Jon Poole's pledge album - I'd just got the download of this pledge-funded rock album by former Cardiacs guitarist Jon Poole. It was perfect music to jump up and down too with a toddler, as we planned our Christmas * Kate Bush has won a CBE - Yay! This happened at Christmas 2012. I love Kate Bush! * Stevy Wonder - I love this musical genius and bought an album by him when Liz was pregnant, as I thought it would be music that a new baby could instantly respond to, and couldn't possibly give off any bad vibes * As Liz is cooking our turkey - I was wrapping presents and dancing with Toby at the time, with Facebook open on another tab of the computer playing our music. Two exciting posts happened to come up... * Kieron Leonard - A Frank Zappa-esque musician was recommended by... * J. Carty - Jason Carty, one of the most talented people I've ever met, who played in the bands Geiger Counter, Foe, Art of Burning Water and Markers. A super nice guy as well * The Monsoon Bassoon - An obscure but favourite band of mine. Amazingly, a live clip of them was finally made available on Christmas eve 2012, which I never thought I'd get to see. I'm actually in the video too, walking past the camera! So I suddenly saw myself on screen (aged 20 and much thinner) * Skype - A free phone service on the internet, used mostly to call my Mum. It helped to make our Christmas to have them on the screen on Christmas day * Master of Reality - Black Sabbath's most stoned album, which I got as a Christmas present * iwrestledabearonce - Another band whose album Liz go me as a present. They're so much fun. I love what they do - They can take a lot of listens to realise how good they are * Bucks Fizz - A Christmas morning drink my friend Vic recommended. When Liz and I discussed what our own Christmas routines should be I suggested it should involve me drinking as soon as possible (not entirely a joke) * Sealett - One of my friend Vic's nicknames, as her surname is Peckett and her phone used to auto correct it to this nonexistent word * Smoked salmon bagels - What Liz and I decided our Xmas breakfast should be * A painful shallow latch - This is a reference to breast feeding, which is harder than you think and dominated our lives for a year * Rush fan pack - Rush's album of the time (Clockwork Angels) was released as a fan pack with a free keyring, poster and magazine. I bought it and the album is amongst their best * Collecting a breast-pump from Leytonstone - One of my dad missions involved collecting this device from a nurse, who lived in this district of London * Wanstead actually being posh - I passed through Wanstead on the way to collect the breast pump and it seemed like a very bleak area of concrete and dirty A-roads. I later saw a different street there and it was revealed as a beautiful and very posh area * West Ham market - This is actually next to Upton Park station and is a really traditional London market. One of the few still surviving * Castle turrets - West Ham football ground is shaped like a castle * The kill your wife sign - A laundry shop on Green Street has an old sign on it saying, "Don't kill your wife, let us do it". (The joke is supposedly that you shouldn't kill your wife with laundry work but let them do your laundry- Kind of sexist in both the "all wives need killing" and the "laundry is women's work" ways). However, I guess I don't exactly care that much about laundry and husbands and wives both wind each other up at times * Green Street - The street where the West Ham football ground is. A film about football hooliganism is named after it * My first time alone in weeks - Being a new dad is overwhelming in terms of work and isolation from friends. Going out to buy a lemon and milk was my first time outside work or my house for a few months and felt like incredible freedom! * The Doctor Who shop - I love Doctor Who and often visit this memorabilia shop. It includes a small museum of old props. I visited with Liz when she was heavily pregnant and they remembered her * The hand of fear - A prop which you can see there, from one of my favourite episodes * The Metebelis Crystal - A Dr Who prop, which is key to several John Pertwee episodes. You can also see the actual prop in the Who Shop * Foamasi - A lizard alien from the episode The Leisure Hive. (There used to be a good band in London called Leisure Hive, who all played matching black and yellow striped guitars) * Kane's German helmet - In the episode Dragonfire, the bad guy Kane wears a spiked helmet, a bit like a German one from World War I
11.
Balik Jazz 01:25
12.
I was all cynical - with so many sports kid bullies (Molten rings forming out the logo) And penalties used to cause cancellations on TV (It’s a shame that they praised immoral school sports) But Danny Boyle came, with a cynicism busting show… (Yes he did! With Bean, Brunel and Poppins!) He opened with routes of the Thames and its source marker stone… (You Go! Wenlock and Mandeville!) Poppins fighting Voldemort is ironic to Alan Moore (Please refer to L.O.E.G. Century 3!) A Tardis noise sounded out for a few seconds corridor (Straight on till morning - it’s absolutely amazing!) Unlike Beijing, where they highlighted order and law (Marching stiff, although they do have more inventions) In Britain we move by ourselves and so made it all fun (Bouncing beds and Voldemort and laughing!) Once you’ve seen your Queen act with Bond, you know that things rock NBC were unaware of Tim Berners-Lee and were judged David Cameron should get no good associations - being an enemy of the NHS it celebrates Even the 2012 sit com now seems mean… It’s proof that musical theatre is much better than sporting References: * Cynicism – Most Londoners were cynical about the 2012 Olympics beforehand, as the transport network can barely cope on a normal work day. In the end it was fine, as most Londoners went away or worked from home. It was unexpectedly easy * Sports kid bullies – Although I didn’t like sports anyway, literally *everyone* I met at school who enjoyed sports was a bully. When I went to university, I was amazed that a new friend did athletics, as I couldn’t associate it with him being such a nice person! Athletics does seem to attract nicer people than football (as some people pointed out during the olympics) but I am now a lot less bigoted against sport * Molten rings forming the logo – It’s worth watching the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, which is surely one of the best pieces of theatre ever created * Penalties used to cause cancellations of TV – Argh!! When I was a kid, extra time in football matches often caused my favourite TV shows to be postponed or cancelled * “Immoral school sports” – In the Olympic closing ceremony, Britain’s compulsory sports lessons in schools were praised… I genuinely think the opposite and that making sports compulsory creates the majority of bullying. It’s great to do sport if you like it but making it compulsory makes it into an entirely poisonous thing, until you finally get older and can play with people who aren’t horrible * Danny Boyle – The director of the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, as well as Trainspotting and 28 Days Later. All very good * “Cynicism busting” – The opening ceremony was such a movingly fun and emotional performance that it made me immediately get into the whole thing. I think it was probably the best bit of theatre I’ve ever seen and the perfect match of being respectful and self mocking * Bean – Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean character was featured in one sketch * Brunel – Genius engineer of the industrial revolution, who was played in the ceremony by Kenneth Branagh. It’s worth watching it all * Poppins – Mary Poppins was also featured, fighting Voldemort from the Harry Potter books! Too good * The Thames – Britain’s largest river, which was featured in the opening video clip * Source marker – A stone (which I presume doesn’t exist in real life?) marking the tiny trickle where the Thames starts * Wenlock and Mandeville – The mascots of the 2012 Olympics, which were one-eyed creatures, made from the left over metal of the stadium. Mandeville represents the Paralympics and is named after the Stoke Mandeville disabled hospital. Oddly, this was the site of one of Jimmy Saville’s crimes (Jimmy Saville is also mentioned in the song W12 7RJ, as he was in the news all the time as I wrote this album) * “Poppins fighting Voldemort is ironic to Alan Moore” – In Alan Moore’s wonderful comic, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Century volume 3) Mary Poppins fights a demonic version of Harry Potter! It’s odd that it mirrored the Olympics opening ceremony * L.O.E.G. – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen * Tardis noise – The Tardis from Dr Who did feature in the ceremony, but only as a sound effect * Straight on till morning – A Hammer horror film * Beijing – Before the 2012 Olympics, I’d thought the previous opening ceremony in Beijing would be hard to equal. After the London one, I re-watched a video of it and couldn’t believe how much more inventive and touching the British one was. Not just a little, but by 100’s of times! It was mostly because the British one was informal and funny, instead of a display of strict organisation. It made me really proud of my own country. I always love it for being the place that fits my interests a lot, but I rarely think that it’s better than another country * “Marching stiff, although they do have more inventions” – The Chinese invented so many things. If they’d done a ceremony to show of those, they’d have done much better. Being able to march in an orderly way is not such a good thing! * Bouncing beds – Another feature of the London ceremony – Great Ormond Street patients bouncing on their beds * “Once you’ve seen your Queen act with Bond, you know that things rock” – The actual real British Queen appeared in the ceremony, doing a comedy sketch with James Bond! Jesus – what kind of country is Britain that we’d actually do that?!? I'm so proud * NBC – An American TV channel * Tim Berners-Lee – The British co-inventor of the internet, whom the American CNN news programme didn’t recognise. Other Americans criticised their news coverage, on a few chat rooms I read * David Cameron – The British prime minister at the time, who was sadly one of the most right wing leaders of all time. He got rid of a lot of services to poorer people, who desperately needed them, under the pretence that funding was tight. He quite happily gave extra money to banks and business men * The NHS – The British healthcare system, which David Cameron partly privatised * The 2012 sit com – This was a sit com about the run up to the 2012 Olympics. It was really funny, but seemed less so after the Olympics turned out to be a real success * Musical theatre is better than sport – I liked the ceremony more than the games themselves and I guess I couldn’t resist another dig at sports fans. I must get over the chip on my shoulder
13.
Walking to my train, under Moorgate Control Tower 42 in a shape designed well Lighthouse sculptures on the Ocean Building Chartered Accountants Hall and the Great Swan Old Dr Butler’s Head and Bassishaw Walk Secret passage to The Lord Mayor’s Guildhall Christchurch Tower Residence and Tivoli corner… John Soan’s Italian, magic buildings Louise Lombard Street and the Counting House pub… London Stone Cannon Street, that glows behind bars Fen Street for sculptures and up a Rood Lane Three mincing horses called Dollar or Yen Dunster Court, dropping at Mark Lane station Little gold lamb and the Proud Cabaret Fen and Windsor bars and Sir Ghastly Grims Crutched Friars and John Cass's foundation Pow R, Toc H for Sir. Tubby Clayton The Old Jewery is still out on that one… Syd the beat painting to Eskimo Nell Trinity Square for my C2C home… Barking or Spotted dog pubs and the WHSmiths shop A Braille map of Barking, where I’m semi-trapped References: * Moorgate Control - After the Morgate tube crash a system of automated breaking was implemented on London tube trains. They're called Morgate Controls after the disaster. My lifestyle was very restricted at this time by being a new dad, so I was imagining my movements having brakes on. * Tower 42 – A City of London sky scraper, which is in the shape of the Natwest Bank logo * Ocean Building - An interesting building, tucked away off Moorgate, which has a lot of quirky sculptures and hidden features - A ship and lighthouse etc. * Chartered Accountants Hall - A beautiful building * The Great Swan - One of the sculptures close to the Ocean Building is of a swan spreading its wings * Old Dr Butler’s Head - A pub * Bassishaw Walk - A tiny alleyway to The Lord Mayor’s office, The Guildhall * Christchurch Tower Residence - Although this must be on the route of my walk I have no memory of what it is! No doubt it caught my eye * Tivoli Corner - A corner of the Bank of England has a short cut built into it to ease traffic. It's Italian-themed architecture has an inscription about its history and why it's called Tivoli corner * John Soan’s magic buildings - John Soan designed the bank of England. His own house has all sorts of hidden corridors, statues, secret areas etc. * Louise Lombard - A pretty actress from the 1980's, who I'm always reminded of when I walk down Lombard Street, opposite the Bank of England * The Counting House pub - One of my favourite pubs in the city, due to its raised balconies and Victorian architecture/chandeliers * London Stone - The London Stone has an interesting history to look up, but is essentially a very old stone, visible behind some bars close to Cannon Street station. It's lit, so it has a spooky glow at night * Cannon Street - A London train station * Fen Street sculptures - There are some interesting ones here * Rood Lane - Interesting mostly for its name * Three mincing horses - A sculpture off Dunster Court shows three horses representing the wild nature of the finance industry. They're called Dollar, Yen and Sterling * Dunster Court - An area of food and drink places, used mostly by city workers * Mark Lane station - A disused tube station that used to exist in the area * A little gold lamb - A tiny sculpture outside Proud Cabaret * Proud Cabaret - A burlesque club * Fen and Windsor bars - The Fen is the pub inside Fenchurch Street station. The Windsor is a nicer pub outside it * "Sir Ghastly Grims" - The church opposite Fenchurch Street station is often called this due to the number of skulls carved into its stone work * Crutched Friars - The name of a road near Fenchurch Street Station. It has a statue on it of an actual Friar on crutches * John Cass's foundation - A school on Crutched Friars * Pow R, Toc H - This organisation to help overseas servicemen was founded i nthe area and there's a blue plaque commemorating it outside Tower Hill tube station * Sir. Tubby Clayton - The founder of that organisation * The Old Jewery - A road in the area, named for the Jewish community who once lived there. I'm making a pun of course on the phrase "the jury is still out" * Syd the beat - A nickname of Syd Barrett the founder of Pink Floyd, whilst he was at art college. He wrote a song called Pow R, Toc H * Eskimo Nell - Syd Barret's girlfriend, who is imortalised on the cover of his album The Madcap Laughs * Trinity Square - An area outside Tower Hill tube station, with some impressive buildings. It's often used as a setting for TV dramas * The C2C - A fast train service from Essex into central London * Barking or Spotted dog pubs - Two pubs in Barking, making use of dog related puns * WHSmiths - I usually go in this stationers on my way home, to browse magazines
14.
Toby is a lovely baby He likes to eat jam and he likes to eat spam Sometimes he says things that we don't understand He likes to do a dance and he likes to go to France Sometimes he does things in his pants
15.
I missed Gorod, Obscura and Spawn of Possession After Terrorizer failed to tell me something… I failed to buy it that month I mean I’m just trying to be clever But by luck I saw Electric Wizard’s gig A week before Toby was due to appear It’s at the Forum - so I pass the Pineapple Pub Where Nick’s pretty Christmas friend met me She lived near Finchley and my new HQ I spent my first London party here… Plastic pineapples and a kid on piano The Tally Ho Pub and the Bull and Gate Where pub rock did gestate One last night of being drunk and alone From Rosemont Avenue to Rosslyn Road Purson were ace as I’d thought they’d be Witchsorrow are great but were better on CD Electric Wizard, I might prefer the idea of… Amazing tape loops of Giallo stuff The Sinful Dwarf, Suspiria and Collinson twins I met Pete from Kremated, outside by the bins He’s an amazing player, who I met through Cardiacs First time I met Beth too… who was then called Ross She’s probably the brightest person that I’ve met Ross was her last name… she’s never changed sex I have to have a Jaegermiester, don’t I? And a pint of Red Stripe, whilst I don’t need to try… Only beer on offer and it’s sweet They’ve sold out of the girl and pentagram puce T-shirt The others were a bit cheesy or rude… So I left them in a good mood Two pints of cider and two large gins Ice in the cider - ahead of their time it seems… A bit like the Joiners Arms in Soton Tim Smith bought me beer - How were they in my town and even real? References: * Gorod – A death metal band from Bordeaux. I think they’re probably my favourite death metal band and are incredibly melodic, as well as brutally heavy of course. Their chords and harmonies are genuinely beautiful, if you can get past the heaviness, and I really mean that. It’s like the benefits of learning to cope with a really hot curry * Obscura – Another death metal band who are very melodic. I love them, but they can sometimes be a little cheesy as well. They’re from Mucnich * Spawn of Possession – A Swedish/German death metal band that I love. They toured with Gorod and Obscura just before Toby was born, but I missed it! Argh! * “Terrorizer failed to tell me something” – Terrorizer is a metal magazine, which I use to get a lot of recommendations. I missed the issue advertising the gig, which was sad. I’m also referring to a provisional title of this album, “Terrorizer Is Trying to tell me something” * Electric Wizard – A doom metal band from Dorset (where I grew up, by coincidence). They’re very good, if occasionally repetitive. This song is largely about the night I saw them play * The Forum – A large, Roman-themed music venue in Kentish Town, London * The Pineapple Pub – A pub in Kentish Town, which I walked past for nostalgic reasons on my way to the Electric Wizard show. After moving to London in 2002, I went to a Christmas party there and was full of the scared excitement of meeting new people in a big city and then travelling home to a flat I didn’t know yet, on the night bus I’d never used before * Nick’s pretty Christmas friend – I was never sure if I had a romantic chance or not (I'm sure not actually) but my friend at the party introduced me to a girl called Becky, who I got on well with and we arranged to meet another time. We met for drinks about 3 times, but she was getting over another guy and clearly wasn’t that into me by her birthday party; when she was there with another guy. We lost touch, but she was a cool person * Finchley – My first home after moving to London. It’s in zone 4 on the Northern Line and is always described as leafy * “Plastic pineapples and a kid on piano” – These were all features of the Pineapple pub. The teenage pianist was egged on by his friends and was very talented. He wasn’t booked to play, he just got on their piano and had a go * The Tally Ho – Another pub in the area, which partly launched the pub rock movement in the 1970’s * The Bull and Gate – This is a very famous music venue, next to the Forum. It has lovely tiling * Pub rock – A precursor to the punk movement and pretty good at times. Dr Feelgood are particularly great, as were Brinsley Schwartz * Rosemont Avenue – The road where my flat was, in Finchley * Rosslyn Road – The road where I live now, 11 years later and married with a baby! It’s in Barking, which is also in zone 4 * Purson – A 70’s rock revival band, who I was excited to learn were supporting Electric Wizard, as I’d just discovered them. They have a bit of an acid-folk vibe * Witchsorrow – A doom metal band, who I also saw supporting E.Wizard. I wasn’t impressed on the night, as I found them a bit repetitive, but I’ve since really enjoyed their album and can see that it was my fault for not getting them * “I might prefer the idea” – I sometimes find that I like the idea of something more than the thing itself…. For example, Electric Wizard write songs about classic movies, have a mysterious vibe and a clever, intelligent concept behind their sound. But, I don’t actually play them that much or feel the need to hear every record. Having one of them currently seems enough, although I proudly wear their T-shirt * Girl and pentagram T-shirt – I thought I might take a T-shirt home from the gig, as it might be my last night of having spare cash (pre-baby). The only one I liked had sold out before the band were even on stage, sadly. It was a picture of a woman carving a pentagram shape and pretty/spooky. The other designs were a bit cheesy or rude, as Electric Wizard are famous for their deliberately horror/sexual imagery. (It works at their shows, but I wouldn’t want to wear it on my chest every day) * Giallo – Italian horror (literally meaning, “yellow,” because of the yellow covers of traditional horror novels) * The Sinful Dwarf – A sleazy horror film about a murderous, perverse dwarf (which Electric Wizard show to new band members to test their reactions) * Suspiria – A great Giallo film, which I’ve now seen * Collinson twins – Identical twin models, who featured in the exploitative horror film Twins of Evil * Pete – An amazing musician, who I always bump into at gigs. He can play anything by ear * Kremated – Pete’s metal band, who did really well * Cardiacs – My favourite band, who I mention a lot in lyrics. They’re hard to describe, but mix punk, classical, prog and all sorts, with incredible intelligence and humour. They’re a very love ’em or hate ‘em band, but a lot of people are so moved by them that they cry or laugh out loud with their songs * Beth – One of my best friends, who’s also incredibly clever at a lot of subjects and has perfect pitch… She passed an entrance exam to medical school, but couldn’t afford to attend * Jagermeister – A sweet, black liquor from Germany, which is marketed as a drink for metal fans * Red Stripe – A Jamaican larger, which I don’t especially like but it was the only one on offer at the Forum. Like a lot of Caribbean foods, it’s quite sweet. I decided that I’d have one beer and one Jagermeister on each bar trip, to savour my night of fun * “Two pints of cider and two large gins”- The drinks order in Withnail and I, when they visit a pub together * Ice in the cider – In Withnail and I they order this, which was very unusual in the 1960’s but became trendy in the 2000’s. Magner’s Cider were trying to make it a cool new thing * The Joiners Arms – A music venue in Southampton, where I did my biology degree. It’s had lots of famous acts there, before they were big names * Tim Smith – Main man of Cardiacs and a lovely guy… I was so star struck when we met, but he bought me a beer and had no ego at all. He even invited me to his 40th birthday, just because he wanted to be nice. He suffered a bad heart attack and subsequent stroke in 2010 and is currently being cared for with donations from charity records and fans, which I really recommend that anyone contribute to. He’s genuinely a genius and a lovely chap * “How were they in my town and even real?” – The Cardiacs are quite mysterious and, when I first saw them live, it seemed incredible that they were real people.
16.
The Barkentine on the Isle of Dogs her choice. And just because of calm If we go on a fortnight we’ll be classed as high risk and moved to the Royal London So we are counting down the days Contracting some day Billingsgate and Limehouse Mission are not so far away Commercial Roadway Clocks of the countries on Westferry, yay Toby’s waiting away Braxton Hicks kneeling Then nothing happening My boss looked for my big hair, to see if I’m still there At Lavender Hill shack - beers in Project Orange My teacher sold me his V drums, the night before the birth, yeah I thought I could get good, whilst not out at the Bree That night at 4 am she woke up excitedly Contracting today But not that soon yet, yay… On the TENS machine we were sent home again We got a curry and I definitely watched a doc about the Shard whilst she slept You do sleep in labour Paranoid about the taxi cab “I drank some wine. Scared to get drunk though App on Liz’s iPhone to count them Pretending that it’s close enough Computer Cabs from Mums’ Net References: * Barkentine – A birth centre in London, which my wife and I intended to use * The Isle of Dogs – Location of the birth centre, on a peninsula in East London * If we go on a fortnight - Liz was overdue, so we were on tenterhooks waiting for the big event * The Royal London - Hospital where Toby was actually born * Billingsgate - A fish market, very close to the Barkentine * Limehouse Mission - A big social centre for seamen in the Limehouse area * Commercial Road - Th big road from Limehouse to Whitechapel * Clocks of the countries - A wall near Westferry has clocks for several countries on it * Westferry - A tube stop near to the Barkentine * Toby - The little guy * Braxton Hicks – Contractions that women get before the birth, but which don't turn into full labour. I thought it sounded like a good title for something and there's already at least one band out there called Braxton Hicks. (Finding any quirky phrase to use is basically the secret of song writing!) * “My boss looked for my big hair, to see if I’m still there” - I have spiky hair and, in the run up to the birth, my boss would look for my haircut in the coffee shop near my office, to see if I was in there or had left for paternity leave. It was apparently visible from the street. * Lavender Hill shack - A drum shop, where I took drum lessons * Project Orange - A bar near the drum shop. A couple of friends worked in the drum shop, so we'd go for a beer after my lesson * My teacher - Paolo, who is an excellent drummer * V drums - Paolo sold me his old Roland V drum kit, which he delivered the day before Liz went into labour * The Bree - The pub I go to most often. I'd assumed I wouldn't be out boozing as much after Toby was born, so I figured that I could at least use my imposed exile to practice the drums a lot * That night at 4 am she woke up excitedly - Liz was really keen to go into labour by the end * TENS machine - An electronic device which supposedly lowers the pain of contractions by giving you tiny pulses of electricity * The Shard - A tasteless building in London * You do sleep in labour - Suprisingly you can be in labour and still go to sleep, go home etc. It takes ages! * Paranoia about the taxi cab - I'd been warned that some taxis won't take women in labour for insurance reasons, so I was paranoid about being turned away. We did the whole journey lying about where we were going, but the driver saw through it and kept making birth puns which I was too stressed to appreciate * App on Liz’s iPhone - You can get an app to time your contractions, which makes it a lot easier * Pretending that it’s close enough - When you're in labour they tell you not to come in until the contractions are a certain time apart. You're so keen to get going that you tend to lie * Computer Cabs - The taxi firm we'd been told would be fine about a woman giving birth * Mums’ Net - A website for parental chat. It's notorious for its frank discussions
17.
“This is the glockenspiel he got on his first Christmas – 7 months in the future. I thought they were called Xylophones for years, as a teacher told the name to me wrongly. It’s xylyo for wood, like xylem and phloem We kept pretending we weren’t in labour to the taxi guy and I didn’t want to talk Liz couldn’t at this stage There’s a glowing pillar by Barking Abbey Off to Whitechapel now, so Toby will be a Cockney No one is born next to Bow Bells now. They aren’t in Bow I mostly felt powerless. Fell asleep for an hour. Men need to do stuff, even me. Monster energy drink. Snacks for her, which I ate as something to do. Couldn’t be touched and couldn’t talk. Wasn’t hungry. You plan music to play and massages to do, but none of that happens. You just do what you’re told or wait. You don’t get to talk. When she had a spinal block it was as if she’d suddenly come back. Forceps lady had a glass mask like a welder’s. Some sort of argument about spinal after care. He was small and cried right away which was a relief. Not a problem if they don’t apparently. All fingers and things there. I didn’t want to wash the blood off him too fast, as it seemed like part of the big event. When I changed his nappy at home I said, ‘Do you remember me. I was there when you first came out. It’s my job to give you a break’” References: * There’s a glowing pillar by Barking Abbey - I saw this for the first time from the taxi, on our way to give birth * Toby will be a Cockney - He was born in the Royal London Hospital, which is about as east end as you can get. However, it strictly speaking isn't within the sound of Bow Bells. In modern London almost noone lives near there * Men need to so stuff - it's hard to see your wife giving birth, as you feel a bit useless. You don't really give her massages as you imagine you will * Monster energy drink - A super-caffeinated drink * "It’s my job to give you a break" - The essential job of a Dad, it seems to me
18.
Leigh on Sea 03:00
Right on the beach is Chalkwell station The tide washes almost to the platform Like the cover of I Often Dream of Trains Toby on the pub table laughing A first taste of chips for he All vinegary Down to Leigh on Sea The Old Smack and gallery And David Dulake A heartbroken, Lorna and me Waterson Carthy Seeing Rachel Riley Some genius gins from Steve And tubbed crayfish tails I played her old friend’s mandolin He’s 86 that weekend He had a retired greyhound I bought my pink lined duffle coat for thirty pounds On previous visits to sea, I’m lost in Chloe How can I tell her Lorna? Curry and astronomy, at her new flat there I went up with Karen one time League of Gents’ pantomime Roy Wood and Harry Hill’s Hooves We saw a lot cat and phoned, to find its owner References: * Chalkwell station - This station in Essex is almost on a beach. It's amazing to wait for a train and see the sea and sand next to you * I Often Dream of Trains - This is an album by Robyn Hitchcock, which has a train trolley and seaside scene on the cover * A first taste of chips - Having a baby is amazing as you're constantly thinking, "wow that was his first chip!" "That was his first chocolate!" etc. * All vinegary - In England we put malt vinegar on our chips. We really miss it when in other countries * Leigh on Sea - A very pretty seaside town in Essex which has a lot of wooden buildings and a thriving scene of music and individual shops. No chain stores seem to have reached it, oddly * The Old Smack - One of the better seafront pubs * David Dulake - A guitarist from the town, who Jack Whie of the White Stripes promoted and I once met * Lorna - One of my best friends, who lives in Leigh. I met her when I moved to London and she really made an effort to take me under her wing and invite me to everything * Waterson Carthy - Leigh has a great folk scene and folk festival. We saw this amazing folk band in a church there togther * Rachel Riley - An improbably beautiful TV presenter, who lives in Leigh and we occasionally saw in town * Genius gins from Steve - My wife Liz's friend Steve also lives in Leigh and had the great idea of bringing gin and tonic ingredients to the beach once * Tubbed crayfish tails - Leigh has a lot of this great kind of food on sale, from little open air stalls. Eating it on the seafront is just joyous * Mandolin - Lorna's elderly neighbour was very cool and let me play his mandolin and pet his dog. He was always up for pub visits too * "I bought my pink lined duffle coat for thirty pounds" - This coat was never off by back for 5 years and I loved it, until it was sadly destroyed when by boiler leaked hot water over it and it went mouldy * Chloe - The girl that I've had the biggest and worst unrequited love for * Curry - What Lorna and I always meet when we meet up * Astronomy - We once went to an open air astronomy event, on the hill top in Leigh. The town often has cool things like that - It's a real gem * Karen - One of my other best friends Karen (who I was once in the band Elevenses with) visited Leigh with me once, to see Roy Wood play a gig. He was the genius songwriter of The Move and Wizard * League of Gents’ pantomime - This favourite comedy troupe of mine did a dark version of a pantomime, which I saw in Leight one Christmas with Lorna * Harry Hill’s Hooves - A comedy show Lorna and I saw * We saw a lot cat and phoned, to find its owner - This "lost cat" event happened when I was there with Karen, shortly before we saw Roy Wood
19.
Undersized nose Toby you’ve an undersized nose Shorter than a garden hose You’ve got an undersized nose Oversized eyes Toby you’ve got oversized eyes Bigger than pizza pies You’ve got oversized eyes
20.
Thinky Brain 01:16

about

This is an album of all the demos I wrote and recorded in 2012, whilst very sleep deprived with a new baby. Some of them might be re-recorded with lusher production one day - The lo-fi production is occasionally perfect for them but occasionally holds them back. Anyway, this is the sound of real thoughts and feelings being put into songs and recorded in real time. I love demos! As usual, the album comes with free artwork and notes about all the references I put into the songs.

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released August 4, 2015

All instruments and singing by Ian Evans, except some female vocals by Liz Evans

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Ian Evans UK

Pop/experimental/rock musician and songwriter from London

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