It was always a thing of wonderment to me, as I strolled the street of London, to find little heaps of purple sludge dumped on the pavement, being pecked at by pigeons and other small creatures. For a long time I was unsure what they were, although I had vaguely supposed them to be some kind of animal-poison laid down by the mayor. “But why are they purple?”, I asked myself, content to conclude that purple must be a pigeon's favourite colour - or the mayor's. Little did I know they were actually piles of rotting kebab meat that had been vomited out by a drunkard a few days before. The peculiar hue, as I now know, was a due to an infusion of stomach acids and red onion. More than any of London's famous landmarks, the image of a pigeon tucking into a slimy wad of Turkish mush remains, to this day, my most lucid and evocative memory of that vast city.
For some reason I used to spend a lot of time thinking about Star Trek and the various implausibilities, inconsistencies, and ideological implications of life on board the Enterprise. I was concerned by the fact that Star Fleet was basically the US government in tight overalls - and perplexed as to why the crew didn’t just abuse the holodeck facilities for their own sordid cosmic fantasies. Then I realised that these were rather silly things to think about. However, since I had often thought of writing a song about it, I decided instead to write one about an obsessive fan and came up with the idea of there being an alien parasite inside his head (which, of course, serves as a metaphorical manifestation of said obsession).
Scolar often introduces this one by asking if anyone has read Brave New World, whereupon he assumes that they haven’t and proceeds to explain that in the book 'Soma' is a drug that induces contentment and/or conformity. Other than allowing us to patronise the audience, this is not strictly necessary, nor particularly vital to understanding the song. As the chorus clearly states, it's about the legalisation of drugs. Employing a classic list structure the lyrics explore what might happen if narcotics become as heavily marketed as everything else - and ends up speculating that it might be a bit like, er, Brave New World. By the way, if you ever hear this song remember that the backing vocals are meant to sound like that.
Like most people I have been to some right dodgy nightclubs in my time, but unlike most people I think they are dodgy. In particular I would like to nominate The Event in Brighton, and also any club that is in, or even near, Leicester Square in London. However, the dodgiest club I ever went to was schooldisco.com which I only went to because my girlfriend’s student union put on a free trip for us (I know with hindsight that this was still not a reason to go). Anway, after standing in the rain for ages, we were searched and let in, charged £5 for a drink, and found, as the song goes, “that the entire place was empty”. It did fill up later, but only with hordes of thick slappers dressed in school uniform who previously would have laughed at anyone wearing even a tie and who only do it now because there's a group of them and because it makes them feel raunchy as they stagger through the streets with bits of tinsel in their hair cackling, when really everyone else is thinking “oh, there’s some thick slappers going to schooldisco.com”. Personally, I was thinking: “Get me out of this emporium of tame fetish-gimmickry for plebs, and give me some chips!”. It’s not a bad song though.
This was an ode to David Harris whose mendacious ways have long been the cause of much annoyance. Once when we were in the East End somewhere enjoying a drink in one of the new over-priced bars, Dave suggested going to another place he knew which was better and just around the corner. Once he had convinced us to leave, he said it would be quicker by tube. Once he had convinced us to get on the tube, he told us that we would need to change again onto another line, and then take a 10 minute walk. Eventually we made it to a small local pub wherein an elderly couple were knocking out karaoke hits from the 1930s. We made it in good time for one round, only to be eyed-up by aged female punters and promptly kicked out. As soon as we were outside Dave said goodbye and left to go back to his new flat, which, as he pointed out, was just across the road. Coincidence? Or just lies, lies, lies, lies, la-lies, lies, la-lies?
Of all of our songs the one that gets most notice, relativity speaking, is Happy Days. Being a shameless panderer to popular tastes I decided to write a similar song by transposing the theme into a macrocosmic schema. What I mean by this unnecessarily pretentious sentence is that this song derives cruel glee, not from other people’s personal pain (as in Happy Days), but from a series of monumental global calamities. The music we used sounds like a Christian sing-along led by a funky, enthusiastic vicar keen to get young people interested in Jesus. When we did it live we even added a chorus where the band stopped playing and complimented the words with incorrect sign-language gestures. Once we went a bit far with this idea and did a whole chorus where we stopped singing as well. Only when the audience had stopped clapping did they realise that the song had not yet ended and that the band had only stopped playing because they were busy doing something else strange and ill-conceived.
Despite the contempt in this song, I actually agreed to have a mobile phone sent to me for a trial period of two weeks, after which I had every intention of sending it back. However, in a sinister karma-esque inversion of the song’s lyrics, I was mugged before I could do so. Not only did I not get the phone back, but I was charged for a year’s contract, forced to pay an early termination fee, and sent several notices of intended litigation. The insurance company also debited my account when I had nothing in there so my bank then charged me for being over my overdraft limit. Needless to say, all this merely reaffirmed my contempt for the mobile phone.
The most impressive thing about this song is that it was actually written in Paris. Whether or not I was having an existential crisis at the time is open to interpretation (as is all pre-conscious sensory phenomena), but I did get very queasy from looking at a plate of shrimps. The song was quite good in a way, but like Existentialism itself, it lacked an acknowledgement of any sense of purpose.
I actually started writing this song when the first Gulf war was going on, but abandoned it because I couldn’t find anything to rhyme with ‘Whitney Houston’. Then another Gulf war came along and I was able to finish the song just in time for it to seem amazingly topical, rather than a decade out of date. I managed to do this by realising that instead of labouring in vain over a line that didn’t rhyme with anything, I should get rid of the line and replace it with something else. This marked a new milestone in my development as a songwriter; neatly coinciding with a new milestone in the history of rampant economic imperialist domination.
A song about David Icke may also seem like it’s a decade out of date (as Scolar always points out), but he is still alive. Besides, I like to think that the issues surrounding the man are perennial. It's quite a good song, so if you also think that the issues surrounding the man are perennial - why not tell Scolar, and he might agree to sing it.
For a while I was concerned that our lyrics were becoming too serious, i.e. about real things. Johnny and his Eggs was an embarrassing and contrived attempt to recapture the inane randomness of our earlier songs. It merely reminded me why we didn’t play them any more.
One afternoon I was in my garage playing the guitar really loud. In a strange way it felt like the whole street could hear me (which they probably could) and so in my head I started to play to all the residents of Shoreham beach. The music and the words of this song subsequently came out in about a hour (which to a layman or a musician may seem like a long time, but to me it was very quick). It pleased me so much that I played the song again and again and again and again and again until it got dark and my mum complained.
This is an ode to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although he has dragged America even further into the swamp of reactionary politics and celebrity dumbness, I have a certain fondness for Arnie. You see, there was a time in the late 80s and early 90s, before he started to send himself up, when Arnie was the very ideal of manhood. We collected his films, read his biographies, stuck semi-naked pictures of him on our school exercise books and generally wanted to be him. Not only was he invincible in every film (except, ironically, Terminator), but his stony-faced ‘witticisms’ - delivered always in the heat of battle - conveyed a sense of calm inner stability that adolescents can only dream of (when they’re not dreaming of sex or exams). But mainly we liked him because he had guns and big muscles.
My girlfriend said this was the worst song she had ever heard. Considering that she'd heard pretty much every Lovely Brothers' song, her opinion of it must've been pretty low. I disagree with her, however. Nazi Tea is far worse.
An uplifting self-referential anthem combining the styles of Chesney Hawks and that song that goes: “With a knick-knack, paddy-wack / Give a dog a bone”. One bit went: ”We've got four fans, on a good day / And their just our mates anyway.”
A song about people who claim they're working-class in order to be cool. Using strict Marxist definitions of class, the fact there's virtually no industry left in this country would seem to indicate that they're all lying. Or do they simply mean that they read tabloids? Either way it’s a quite nice song, but it’s never been played - maybe because we stole the tune from the great working-class opera, Oliver.
This is a soft-rock ballad about cider. Most people jump at the chance to relate their cider-drinking anecdotes, yet sadly they often use these stories to justify the fact they now drink some other form of alcohol. The day you stop getting wasted on chemically-infused pseudo-apple piss, is the day you become old.