Saturday, May 20, 2006

"The darkest night, and all its mixed emotions, is getting lighter - sing along..."

But meanwhile... while such enjoyment was going on, some of us had a proper job to do...
Well, almost...
In an entirely-predictably-sparse Storm club - next to the Moon Under Water in Leicester Square, that reliably cheap-and-soulless-of-all-soulnesses bar in the worst of the West End - your blogger was knocking back bottles of Carlsberg ready for his big six-song showpiece set...
An unfortunate night, really. When most people were either sunning themselves in tropical climes, or either supporting the Scum (wrong) or Barcelona (right) in some, any, pub somewhere...
But, anyway.... A sturdy little bunch offered sterling support, for which I'm truly grateful (Lyndon, Jessie, Nick, Lizzie - your reward will be in Heaven - that is, it probably won't be here...)
And I kicked off with that trusty old favourite (for me, anyway), Autopilot, whose genesis has been recounted and which Lizzie was kind enough to say she remembered from way, way back...
Then, onto a rewriting of Rat Race, whose verse-lyrics Nick first wrote in about 1997 and to which I added a chorus back then, and a hefty rewriting, ooh, about a week ago, yet keeping the main thrust and theme... And, for all my fat-fingered thrumming and strumming, followed somewhere along these lines...
(Introducing it with the oh-so-banterful time-filler "And yes... I have come straight from work..." I was wearing an out-of-place, scruffy suit, y'see... Anyway, here t'is...)

Half a jacket on my back, my lenses burning red
Clinging on to the luggage rack, five elbows in my head
Raising an eyebrow at every highbrow book that's not Dan Brown
My eyes glaze over at my own front cover
Please people, put your Metros down

Oh, it should have been so easy
Should have been so easy
Keeping up with the pace
But I'm starting to feel queasy
Not so bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and breezy
Keeping up in the dirty rat race

Stick your skies of blue, and its thinking too
And your tablets set in stone
"Throw some pebbles out, see how they ripple about"
Oh, I just want to go home
I'm a C C Baxter, buddyboy
Looking for Ms Kubelik
But every suit and dress at every desk
Is spilling out the same old brand awareness schtick


Here's where we get off
Here's where we get off

Fighting dark in the nearest bar, with the landlord's same old jokes
Someone shoot me if I ever laugh or seem a Chubby Brown kind of a bloke
Staying late, 'cos all that waits at home is last night's tea gone cold
One bedside prayer, if there's anyone there:
Hope we live before we get old...


Okay, then... And into a really-rather-embarrassing spiel, starting off on how this must be the best, guaranteed Gooner-free zone tonight. Only for someone to shriek out "A*senal!" Such a great fan, they must have been...

But it was merely a tenous cue into me talking about my forthcoming trip to Germany for the World Cup. And how I'm fond of the place, and the people, despite the traditional rivalry. And even the language, though it's slipping away from me.
Which had me thinking what it would be like to try to keep up a proper romantic relationship over that language frontier...
Moving beyond my brief German-girl dalliances, that is - close encounters of the third Reich, indeed - nope, sorry... (though it did get my biggest laugh... curse 'em...)
But anyway...

All those words that never seem to trip off my tongue
Like "love" or "liebe", "Wunsch", "desire", I avoid them, every one
But now you've got my leafing through my tattered vocab books
Trying to play catch-up and jawohl, it looks
Like I'm learning more every day
But auf Deutsch is so unromantic
En francais sounds more fantastic
But I've got a lot to learn

I just want you here
I only want you near
Oh liebling - komm zu mir

Maybe it's the harshness of the crunchy way that some words end
Your "ich" or your "brauch", or your "machen", "sprachen", "schwachen" - oh, guten Abend...
Or maybe it's just the way I've simply let my knowledge slip
Since I stumbled out of school, and that explains each trip
To my Wortbuch, to check on what you're saying
But auf Deutsch, it sounds so unromantic
In Italiano sends all lovers frantic
But I've got a lot to learn


All those cliches about sunbeds, and two world wars
And images of '66 - Achtung, Fritz, what's the score?
But I promise I'll stop going on about Bobby, Nobby and Geoff
Well, even I know when a joke's been done to death
And we can laugh about much more
But auf Deutsch, it sounds so unromantic
"Es hat kein Romanz" if you're being pedantic
Oh, I've got a lot to learn


Then I threw in a rather boring workaday song called "Never Been Kissed", which sounds a little pretty but I can't be bothered to type up the lyrics now, then introduced "The Morning After" with a few strums (also previously transcribed), to cheers from Lyndon - which had me instantly stopping short before restarting, oh such a card I am... - and then, with one song left, the spot I'd left for the magical cover...

Well, while I'd pondered Kinks or Kermit, Gene Clark or Gram Parsons, Supertramp or Spice Girls... after a day of writing up the sad story of Sir Paul and his odd missus, I went for a Macca special...

... oh, and it allowed me to lever in a spiel about the only happy person tonight being Macca's dope-dealer, who might suddenly find himself back in business again...
"Kids - great news, we might be able to afford a holiday this summer after all...!"

Except the deathly silence which greeted this seemed to give its own anti-reward (though Lyndon, Lizzie and Nick later insisted they were laughing uproariously, something to do with the shoddy acoustics, you know, and politics, it's all politics...)

But anyway, having considered Things We Said Today, I've Just Seen A Face and We Can Work It Out (arf), I ultimately opted for his 1989 cutesy-pie finger-picker Put It There.

And then scarpered back to my table, all the better to watch, listen, learn, and... well, sneak out for the football score...

And get invited back, whenever I'm free.
Oh, foolish, foolish folks...


a.c.t said...

Have you recorded any of these songs? Would be interested to here some of them.

Aidan said...

I have a few of them, on minidisc - very basically bashing out a few guitar chords and some crooning.
I'm still trying to overcome my general IT-un-ITK-ness and figure out how to transfer onto computer. This may take some time...

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