London Shall Be Your Wife Paris Shall Be Your Mistress
This is a song about being born to London and trained to perform within the cities palaces and theatres and to protect the cultural traditions association with the city. I was born and bred in South West London. I have been educated and built through the spaces in London. The song features sites I have grown up with and been built by: Richmond Hill, the Statue in Sloane Square, the Concert Halls in Kensington, the fancy hotels, the pubs in Leadenhall and the raves in Corsica. I am a gatekeeper of styles, ideas, stories and sounds that I have the luxury to enjoy but also the responsibility of sharing it with the next generation. The mortality of the city is ever present. We are aware that the party of London will outlive all of us, and yet, we expect ourselves, within this brief moment on the planet, to attain the city’s greatness. To excel at all the opportunities that London offers is to excel at a lot of the most culturally, intellectually and poetically stimulating things on the planet.
Searching for the Summer
Searching for the Summer is a song that describes the time spent as a teenager drinking and talking about girls on the Thames between Putney and Hampton Court.
Putney is a story about a world that gets lost through assuming the responsibilities and expectations of becoming an adult. Putney is like a microcosm for the United Kingdom. Despite being just a stones throw from Neo-liberal London it is ethnically and culturally British and protestant. The innocence of this sense of Britishness is reflected through playing the song Auld Lange Syne.
The first lyric from violence was written when I was 18. The content and timing of it makes it one of the greatest lines I have ever written: ‘killed your best friend – or close enough – funny the things, people do for love’. This song develops the idea in another song Hope that we are ‘the standard hierarchal state, addicted to anger married to hate’. Essentially people often find excuses that will justify all manner of violence and injustice. Regardless of our own malice we still greatly desire justice. It is an extraordinary paradoxical situation which creates great levels of catastrophe. Very often we find ourselves adapting to previous trauma or historical violence thus becoming bullies and becoming violent towards innocents, thus imitating that which we hate in our abusers and contradicting our sense of injustice.
Reading Hilary Mantel and Salman Rushdie I am always drawn towards the use of lists in illustrating the symbols and senses associated with 16th century England in Hilary Mantel and India in the case of Salman Rushdie. I wrote a list of all the things that evoked my sense of Bristol. This is then delivered with rhythm through spoken word. The piano plays the Bicep song Celeste which evokes the intoxicating beauty of the Bristol rave scene.
The Generation of Abraham
The Generation of Abraham is a song about a collection of powerful individuals that are willing to sacrifice their children’s planet to secure their own safety and profit. It is about a realisation that the worst impacts of climate change will not be felt by their generation and therefore there is a wager of allowing their children to suffer the consequences because they cannot be bothered to make sacrifices. This introduces themes of great importance like the idea of imbalance and hierarchy based on the fact all off spring were created by someone. Think about the Goya painting of Saturn devouring his son. Ultimately it is a story of moral cowardice, ignorance and violence that is told by a narrator who switches between viewpoints, for instance he adapts the position of the adults, the children and the director to create a dialogue within the story.
Cleopatra’s Nose is a humorous, dark tale of a powerful superstar that is sailing around the world like a modern day Christopher Colombus or Vasco De Gama. The song offers insights about colonialism and the memory of colonialism particularly in what was once known as the Orient. The opening line was inspired from the description of how Donald Trump called off bombing Iran just hours before the planes were set to start an attack. The songs title Cleopatra’s Nose refers to a historical theory that the beauty of an individuals nose has the power to transform the course of history. Ultimately we will go to war for the most arbitrary means that very often will leave us dissatisfied. Sometimes the reasons for making war may be a matter of flexing strength. The song ends with a warning from the Hitch whose ghost haunts the narrator like that of Old Hamlet.
The Clergy is a testament toward musicians. It acknowledges the popular devotion towards music and musicians and the paradoxical situation that amidst this devotion so many are led towards addiction and suicide. Modern musicians are modern day spiritual leaders. They have the ability to offer people advice and insight that they will not hear from family and friends. The listener creates private relationships with songs and artists. Given the significance of these artists in sequencing and communicating human emotions I assert they need protection and need to ‘know how the mind works’, meaning that they need to understand the contents of consciousness through learning how to meditate.
Zat is a song that acknowledges how the existential reality of the modern musician. In the age of the internet talent is not enough to make it.