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Kettle Fish

Conspiracy Theories
Not only did John McWibwaar reluctantly agree to play drums for us, he also reluctantly let us use his new keyboard (one of those that came with loads of stupid noises). Mr Pump masterfully utilised a dubious steel-drum sound to turn this commentary of unfeasible paranoia into a funky calypso number.

The National Lottery
This song tapped into the zeitgeist of a nation which had recently acquired a new addiction, forcing it to realise the socio-economic conditions which had led to this novel form of gambling. It then made the point that you were less likely to win the Lottery than fall prey to a series of ludicrous and improbable accidents. For some reason I consistently play the same wrong chord at exactly the same point every time we do this song. One of Scolar's (better) ideas.

A song about the uses and qualities of various substances. Each verse dealt with a different material (wood, bricks, fibreglass, etc), whilst the chorus attempted to celebrate the diversity of textile properties. Again, why?

Boys in Blue
There was a pub we used to go to in Shoreham known as 'The Duke' which was always getting hassle from the police. I used to fantasise about playing this song whenever the police came in to harass some innocent under-age drinkers. It was generally a poor song but it ended well with this rousing refrain: "All policemen are knobs / All policemen are knobs". Unfortunately, when we finally got another gig at the Duke we discovered on the night that we couldn't play because the police had taken away the pub's music license.

The 'Green Folder' used to contain all sorts of crap which I'd written and forgotten about. Sometimes we'd pull something out and just start singing it to whatever tune Mr Pump came up with. We did this when we wrote Milkman, but the sheet we used didn't really have a chorus. Whilst the others were deliberating what could possibly follow the verse I turned the sheet over and found another meaningless song on the other side. This promptly became the chorus. Although its origins were entirely arbitrary, I have since realised that this song is concerned with the Sartrean themes of 'bad faith' and self-objectification.

Conformity in the U.K.
A 'clever' inversion of the Sex Pistols' song about a well-to-do, law-abiding citizen who makes a point of regularly mowing the grass verge outside their house. Once we were practising this on a hot summer's day and we had opened all the windows, not knowing that an elderly neighbour was trying to enjoy a peaceful afternoon in their garden. After several renditions we heard a loud banging at the door. I had always thought our neighbour was a timid old man, until he started shouting and swearing at me. Apparently he had been banging on the door for a good five minutes before we heard him. The strange thing is, apart from the uncanny irony of it being this particular song, was the fact that he was about 70% deaf.

Marine Creatures
Many of the songs listed here were given so little attention at the time that even Scolar wouldn't remember them. This is a typical example - just as crap action films go straight to video, this one went straight into the Green Folder. It is about wanting to be a Walrus.

Pointlessly Intellectualising Things
An unsettlingly veracious confession of my excessively cerebral proclivities and abstrusely analytical verbosity.

Give Us A Friday!
Before the Duke had its music license taken away they used to put on gigs every Wednesday and Friday. The latter was by far the most prestigious night and sometimes the bands would even get paid. It goes without saying that both the gigs we played there were on a Wednesday. This song was an attempt to persuade the landlord to give us a Friday slot, but it was a sycophantic load of crap. If they had ever heard it, it would have merely confirmed their decision.

Dirty Old Men
However, a bloke called Barry who occasionally pretended to be a bouncer for the Duke asked us to play at a night he was putting on in Worthing. We gradually discovered that he was actually organising a stripper show, and that we were to support an act called 'The Pissing Twins'. He warned us that there would be a paddling pool on the stage and that we were likely to have sanitary products thrown at us. We agreed enthusiastically, and I wrote this song for the occasion. Disappointingly it never happened, but the song was a bit bad anyway.

Jailhouse Rock
This was originally about a man who had committed genocide and was now celebrating his crime from behind bars. I soon realised the song would be infinitely improved if we scrapped the lyrics and got Mr Pump to wail over the top, in the way that only he can.

Soundcheck Song
I thought it would be nice to have a song to play specifically for sound-checks. Unfortunately the song we wrote was far too complicated for us to play proficiently, so we ended up having to do another song after it to actually sort out the levels and stuff. Nevertheless it did contain a great line about the drums always being too loud.

Piece of Turf
Mr Pump used to draw a cartoon strip for our newsletter called 'Piece of Turf'. It was about a super-hero who happened to be a clod of earthy grass. The song was rather poor, despite the fact that it was based on the Flash Gordon song by Queen.

We all live in a Capitalist Society
When they built an out-of-town shopping centre next to Shoreham I was quite dismayed. When I eventually went I found that virtually everyone from my school was working there. I wrote this song to condemn them all, despite the fact that John, our drummer, also had a job there. Oh, and it had the same tune as Yellow Submarine.

If You Want To Have No Friends...
This one continued in a similar vein, but was sung to If You're Happy And You Know It. It criticised everything from having a job to driving a car, and culminated with the line: "If you want to have no friends... join our band".

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