Antiques Album Liner Notes

Posted on 09/09/2019

This provides short notes on the various songs on the ‘Antiques’ album of my historic songs, due out on 21 Sept 2019.


Track 1: Holmes Rocks.  Early 1980’s.   This is a spoof on Sherlock Holmes, visualising him as a trendy doctor in New York, who is sought after for his skills of verious kinds. The track is too long, and I’ve always wanted to edit it, but never got around to it. The beauty of it that has prevented me is Matt Devereaux’s ending riff, which is lovely.

Track 2: Avoid the eyes of other men’s wives.  This is also early 80’s. But I cant remember who the singer is. She was the (ex) girlfriend of the man who mixed it at Mike Kemp’s studio near Cambridge. The lyric is good and her performance is better. I lost touch with her probably round 1990 and have no idea where she is. Presumably she’s in her 60’s now.

Track 3:  Performing flea. This is a fantasy about Cavegirl Mo who managed to achieve fame and fortune in pre-classical times due to her skill in manipulating the trained performing fleas she used in her striptease. This is a conflation of ancient and modern, since I doubt they had striptease in caveman days.It has a tight rhythm and goes with a swing!

Track 4: Wally. I rather like this track now, but it caused me a lot of grief in the mid 1980’s. Thats because it was the follow up to ‘Shoot to kill’ which had been played by John Peel on BBC Radio 1 and had achieved some success. Wally had a sad cover (a mistake I now see) and was rather downbeat. It bombed as they say. But I rather like it. There is a straight version and a remix one.

Track 5. This is love madam. This slightly sinister song was written in the wake of a breakup and is, unwittingly, rather a threat to the girl with whom I had broken up. I rather like the feel of it. I would like to know who the clarinettist is., It was recorded around 1978 and I have no idea where except I think it was Oxford.

Track 6: Why is it called love? This was recorded at Spaceward with Mike Kemp in the early 1980’s. I like the line about ‘leaves are eyes that have never seen, what might have been, might have been’. Otherwise it seems unnecessarily doom laden!

Track 7: Hotter Mr Potter. This is a spoof KGB spy song and I rather like it.  There is a free form bit at the end where Matt, Milree and I exchanged outlandish suggestions as to who might be a spy. Amusing in my view!

Track 8: A permanent wave like the Queen.  This plays on the idea of a hair wave, a sea wave, and a royal wave. It has an odd rhythm which I can recall developing and insisting was performed. Its quite odd. There is reference to President Reagan who was famous for being an ex actor (ham, as in ‘too much ham is bad for Uncle Sam’ and for his liking for jelly babies.

Track 9: Little witch. This is a study in witchery. I recall the poor chap who played the piano suffereing from my asking him to play the tune endelssly in my underground bunker at 43 Rectory Road Oxford. He was suffering from claustrophobia by the end, so I took him accross the rod to the pub opposite for a reviving drink. I hardly ever saw him again, I fear.

Track 10. Willow Pattern. This is a song about a ruined cottage in the woods opposite the farm I was brought up on. It had been deserted in 1922 but still had chimneys and windows intact. My brother Nicky and I used to walk wast it on the way to school. In later years I went back and found bits of chine. Reflections on this led to the song. Its sung by Kimberley Rew, later of Katrina and the Waves (cf Walking on Sunshine).

Track 11: You’re Wonderful.  This is a strange song, entirely on the key of G. It was boring for th emusicians in the end, as it was so repetitive. I remember the recording of it,. as we did some of it in the basement garage of my house, beating on the metal garage door. This aggravated my neighbour Mad John,. who came down and banged on the outside of the garage door yelling Jungle Music. Quite true, but it seemed to annoy him!

Track 12: Gunter Green This is the odd one out. Its only a few years old rather than 30 years ago, and is sung with my youngest daughter Isadora. The video (on my YouTube channel richardfordham contains pictures of me pretending to paint!

Track 13: Airport blues This was originally based on my getting stuck at Kansas International Airport without any money for several days in mid 1972. Not a pleasant experience but quite memorable. The noise of the airport fell to almost silent in the night, with just a few electronic messages, and then built up in the morning to a roaring level which then started to fade around 6 pm. It was certainly boring, and combined with the normal experiences of anyone going on holiday by air, involved more hanging around in airports.

Track 14: Running out of gas This is a nightmare song! I have always been grateful to Mike Kemp, then of Spaceward Studios for his inspired creation of the background noise for the song.










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