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Behind The Song Nottingham Sounds

Race To The Top

Stunning MCs like taser shocks, I got a jet pack flow, I’m taking off
A breathless hip hop sprint to the finish line. A collaboration between The Afterdark Movement and Deeper Than Forever ft. Bru-C and Kayfficial

Download      mp3 demo

Behind The Song

All credit to Afterdark’s Bru-C for the concept of trading ever shortening lines with DTF’s Kayfficial. Afterdark sax player Ed Reisner came up with the initial riffs and chord sequence. I suggested stretching out the chord sequence for the bridge to build tension and made a few tweaks here and there. Former pupil Sarah Kerry produced and played live drums and Nina Smith added and arranged backing vocals.

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Behind The Song Song Vault

A Little Spillage

 

The Horse is fine, of course, although the van is far less certain!
Just your average Cockney-Kiwi, Bernard Cribbins-type jam.
A collaboration with Stephen Wordsmith.
Download     Chords (pdf)

One of the pleasure of FAWM is meeting incredibly creative people from all over the world. New Zealander Stephen Wordsmith writes incredible lyrics often comprising of fiendishly difficult puzzles or dazzling wordplay. During FAWM 2015 we collaborated on A Little Spillage which to my mind sounded like an old fashioned children’s song. I set the lyrics to a musical part I could barely play and moved on to other things. When Stephen approached me this year about including it on his new album ‘Tintinnitus’ I actually learned how to play it and did a proper recording.

Come quickly, mayor Prickley
For there’s been a little spillage
There’s been a little spillage?
There’s been a little spillage!
Yes, there’s been a little spillage
In the centre of the village

A Canterbury Lorry
Met a paint truck from Otago
A paint truck from Otago?
A paint truck from Otago!
And the paint truck from Otago’s
Gone and spilled its precious cargo

There’s ochre and orange and buckets of blue
And rivers of red in most every hue
Midst puddles of puce and great gushes of green
With flicks of sienna to finish the scene
Come quickly, and look at the rainbow that flowed
With colour and life along every road

Come quickly, mayor Prickley
For there’s been a little spillage
There’s been a little spillage?
There’s been a little spillage!
Yes, there’s been a little spillage
In the centre of the village

A car from Alexandra
Met an ice-cream van from Lincoln
An ice-cream van from Lincoln?
An ice-cream van from Lincoln!
So you’d better get there quick
Because that ship’s already sinkin’!

There’s caramel, coffee and chocolate and cherry
And cookies and cream among boysen and berry
With pieces from Reece and vanilla from France
All mingling as one in their trickling dance
Come quickly, and look at the rainbow that flowed
With flavour and fun along every road

Come quickly, mayor Prickley
For there’s been a little spillage
There’s been a little spillage?
There’s been a little spillage!
Yes, there’s been a little spillage
In the centre of the village

A Clydesdale from Ashburton
Met A Clyde van selling curtains
A Clyde van selling curtains?
A Clyde van selling curtains!
The Horse is fine of course
Although the van is far less certain!

There’s spartans and tartans and circles and – cripes!
There’s spots and there’s dots and diagonal stripes
With florals that flourish and ziggies that zag
All rotten with cotton (or so says the tag)
Come quickly, and watch all the patterns explode
Unfolding like sails along every road

Come quickly, mayor Prickley
For there’s been a little spillage
Yes, there’s been a little spillage
In the centre of the village!

Lyrics by Stephen Wordsmith
Music by Matt Blick

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand

To both be heard, to both be seen
A cry for peace and reconciliation
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

In 2015 I set myself a goal of writing 50 songs. I finished demoing song no 48 (Guns) on Dec 31st but I was determined not to fail I wrote and recorded song 49 (New Mistakes) with 40 minutes to spare. Digging into my ‘song starts’ folder I found the title Every Fist Was Once An Open Hand. It was a paraphrase of something I’d heard on a radio 4 program maybe 15 years before. Against the deadline I wrote and played the first words and chords that came to mind and demoed it as the new years fireworks began to go off (listen closely to the end of the demo for proof!). I rerecorded the song ‘properly’ in early 2016 but it was worse than the ‘New Years Eve one mic live take’ so I went back to that and added a little overdubbing to fix a spot where I got the words wrong and a few sweeteners.

I wish you peace, I wish you joy
I wish we’d have no fear of laying down our swords
To both be heard, to both be seen
Living in the light of shared humanity
It’s not too late for us to understand
Every fist was once an open hand

I pray for hope, I pray for grace
I pray that I can put the smile back on your face
I see the scars that your still bear
I know my actions and my words put them there
Can I change? I believe I can
Cos every fist was once was an open hand

You have a cause for which you fight
And the God you serve believes you’re always right
No second thoughts, no feeble doubts
Just the strength to carry your decisions out
It’s not too late for you to change your plans
Every fist was once an open hand

Call off the missile strikes that fall on foreign lands
Let every fist become an open hand

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Faster (Than The Speed Of Light)

Your fuel-injected heart is a battering ram
A fast song about fast things
Download      mp3 demo

I’ve noticed that almost all my songs tend to be around 120 bpm – I’ve no idea why. So I deliberately set out to write a fast song. I also had an idea that to make a song that appealed to people who sync music for films and TV you should include the key search terms in the title and lyrics. So this is a song expressly written for a cool car chase in a film. So if you saw it in a movie my shameless sellout plan worked!

I wrote and recorded the music in about an hour. The track then sat on my hard drive for a bout 2 years till I laboriously brainstormed the lyrics. I tried to keep everything unified image wise but a few random things snuck in – sharks and wolves, ships and rollercoasters and … er… gum.

The “bad news travelling faster than the speed of light” idea came from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws”

White lines, tyres scream
You drink a little blood with your gasoline
No plates, no belts
I wouldn’t bet on any hand you dealt
You shift gears, shift blame
Trouble is your first, last and middle name
Roadkill, I’m struck dumb
Chewed me up like a stick of gum

Bad news moves faster than the speed of light
You move faster than the speed of light
I don’t like to fuss or fight
But baby, you’re bad news

Raw truth, you can’t swerve
Chase you down on a deadman’s curve
Pure speed, you overtake
Are you a junkyard dog or a dashboard saint
V8, twin cam
Your fuel injected heart is a battering ram
Your blood is calling sharks
And the wolves are howling for you, darling, out in the dark

Bad news moves faster than the speed of light…

Won’t kneel and pray, no changing lanes
St. Christopher ain’t taking your calls today
That ship has sailed, your saint has bailed
Your brakes have failed
Now you’re a rollercoaster bout to jump the rails

Bad news moves faster than the speed of light…

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Behind The Song Song Vault

Polishing A Turd (NSFW)

If they hang it in a gallery, it still don’t make it art
Three chords and the truth
Download     mp3 demo     Lyrics (pdf)

During FAWM 2015 I was writing a song based on additive structures and in the middle of trying to piece together a demanding and over elaborate demo came to the conclusion I was trying to ‘polish a turd’. Despite all efforts to resist I flipped over the lyric sheet and started writing a new song on the back. The three chord pattern came immediately and ‘Polishing A Turd’ was demoed and done in 2 hours. The “roll it in glitter line” came from Mark Nelson (you can hear him say it to me in the behind the scenes video for Let’s Build An Airport).

The Pop Mythology site was kind enough to say “[If it] doesn’t give you a genuine LOL moment, you might not have a soul”.

Polishing a turd, polishing a turd
You can get a Grammy for polishing a turd
You might impress a hundred million pre-pubescent girls
“OMG he’s polishing a turd!!!!” >:O

Autotune a fart, autotune a fart
It’s OK to be pitchy if it comes right from the heart
If they hang it in a gallery, it still don’t make it art
Fire up the Melodyne™ let’s autotune a fart

Photoshop your mom, photoshop your mom
Make her taller, thinner, browner, bluer-eyed and blonde
Take away her cellulite and put her in a thong
Vogue will hold the cover if you photoshop your mom

Polishing a turd, polishing a turd
That’s what you get for polishing a turd
Roll it in some glitter but it just gets more absurd
That’s what you get for polishing a turd

(Make the world a better place by polishing a turd)

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Song Vault

Bullingdon Boys

The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Punk Protest
Download     mp3 demo     Lyrics (pdf)

David and Boris and Gideon met
At Oxford University
They dined with a crew of the chosen few
Wearing sky blue and ivory

It’s a fine old tradition for young blue bloods
To trash a restaurant and pay in cash
As preparation for a host of Government posts
It’s how we train the ruling class (and they sing…)

Rah Rah Rah! We’re the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Make way for the Bullingdon Boys
It’s the day of the Bullingdon Boys

Bloods have their colours
And so do the Crips
Like any self-respecting gang
But Bullingdon threads don’t come off the peg
Set your family back three grand
(Call it an investment, money well spent). Sing…

CHORUS

You wouldn’t put a paedophile in charge of a school
No matter how much he’d changed
Would you trust a Buller boy with the lives of the poor?
Then you’ve only got yourself to blame

Rah Rah Rah! It’s the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich kids break it and the poor just take it
And make way for the Bullingdon Boys
Crime pays when you’re a Bullingdon Boys

Buller! Buller! Buller!

Rah Rah Rah! It’s the Bullingdon Boys
Bullingdon Boys born to rule OK!
The rich run riot, the lawyers keep it quiet
Make way for the Bullingdon Boys
Hip hooray for the Buller Boys

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Song Vault

Tonight

She’s shining like a constellation
A moment of transcendence down the pub (co-written with Harry Verity)
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Looking at that girl at the other end of the bar
Grinning like an idiot an’ still don’t know where to start
Need something to do or something to say
When it comes to love I get my own way
Love is a needlessly contrary competition
Often complicated with no proper definition
Taking aim at nothing and complaining when I hit it
Love is not a lottery if you don’t buy a ticket

Tonight she’s got the whole world at her fingertips
So why not unlock my life with just one kiss?

Tonight, don’t let me down tonight, the arguments and fights
Are violins and choirs sent to serenade tonight
There are sonnets I could write, revolutions to ignite
If I just put down my pint and talk to you to…

…Set the scene more thoroughly a dreary Wednesday night crowd
It’s mental in the gentlemen’s’ – the ultraviolet light’s out
A dog is licking lager up under someone’s table
Sat amongst the gargoyles is a solitary angel
They’re no brighter than their bling and bitter as Bacardi
All I hear is whistling, the pounding of my heartbeat
Everyone smells of smoke, sweat and desperation
They’re tryin’ to be stars, she’s shining like a constellation

Tonight she’s got the whole world at her fingertips
So why not unlock my life with just one kiss?

Tonight, don’t let me down tonight, the sirens and blue lights
Are violins and choirs sent to serenade tonight
There are sonnets I could write, revolutions to ignite
If I just put down my pint and talk to you tonight…

For tomorrow is a siren’s lullaby
Watch love sail away as day turns into night

Don’t let me down tonight, don’t let me drown tonight
Be swept out with the tide while there’s land in sight
And sonnets left to write, revolutions to ignite
If I just put down my pint and talk to you and…

Suddenly she’s by my side, and ‘penny-for-your-thoughts’ me
I just shake my head, say “being back in here transports me,
The first time that I saw you was the last time I felt lonely”
She says, “let’s go home love, ‘cos the babysitter’s phoned me”

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Song Vault

Where Did The Time Go? (NSFW)

Days had strange elastic powers, minutes stretched to lazy hours
Frantic (tick tock) hyperactive jazz workout
Written with (and performed by) Liz Frencham
Download     mp3 demo      Lyrics (pdf)

Mr Time where did you go?
How I miss the time I used to hold
Days had strange elastic powers
Minutes stretched to lazy hours
Wish they hadn’t been devoured
Too busy dancing to the

Tick tock, time is sneaky
Drip drop [dropped] the clock and now it’s leaking
Put it in a big box
To stop it seeping out and never stop to take stock
[Stock] our shelves with pointless s**t
Look I scored another tick [tock]
Talking s**t until I finally get a big shock
Where did the time go?

Mr Time throw me a bone
Have I missed the rhyme that calls you home?
See the carrot on the stick
It’s dangling just beyond my grip
Bright and sweet but far too quick
It’s gotta be a silly trick

Stop! Time is sneaky
Drip drop [dropped] the clock and now it’s leaking
Put it in a big box
To stop it seeping out and never stop to take stock
[Stock] our shelves with pointless s**t
Look I scored another tick [tock]
Talking s**t until I finally get a big shock
Where did the time go?
Where did the time go?

Where is the time, to unwind?
To feel alive, breathe in deep
To stretch, to reach
Let the grass grow underneath my feet
Would be fantastic, would feel ecstatic…
(Tick – tick – tick – tock
Tick – tock – tick – tock – tick – tock)

Tick Tock, time is sneaky
Drip drop [dropped] the clock and now it’s leaking
Put it in a big box
To stop it seeping out and never stop to take stock
[Stock] our shelves with pointless s**t
Look I scored another tick [tock]
Talking s**t until I finally get a big shock, please stop!
Tick tock.