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Fireworks At Midnight

I started the year in a heated marquee
Working time and a half to an affluent crowd
And it's drinks from the left and it's food from the right
Where the platters that matter run clockwise all night
And I'll try and remember your order
If you try and remember your wife
And I'll try to forget
I'm working time and a half at the start of the year
Try working time and a half when you don't have a choice

The fireworks start so it's midnight I guess
And the couples embrace like they've only just met
And I long for the frisson of passion they share
Not just sweethearts hand-holding, but total immersion
I'm trying to capture the feeling
To replay it at will, but for now I'm stuck waiting here
For the first kiss of the start of the year
I'm stuck waiting for the first kiss of the start of the year

Promises, Promises

The midsummer heat gets the newspapers talking, as diligent crowds fill the roads
And as the people decamp to the beaches then I'll share the city with you
If only I could share the city just with you
A handwritten note is a scant consolation, but I'll take whatever love's left
With pen strokes that slant from the left to the right like a drunk cyclist
Meandering home on a cold Christmas Eve

And I know, I know
This faded note that I hold in my hand
An invitation to run
It's a chain reaction to run
To the tempting lines in disposable ink
A dozen casual promises, I'm falling back in

I'm always the first to get burnt by the summer or blinded by someone I trust
I pray on my knees for the sweetest release of the cold autumn months
If only I could share those autumn months with you
I never could count the cards but I sure learned to read your brown eyes
You never learned Russian Whist but you sure learned to spin out a yarn
As far and as wide as the national grid
And promises, promises fall from your lips overwhelmingly
Promises, promises fall from the page like a mountain spring
Distilled and repackaged as something unique

And I know, I know
This single page that I hold in my hand
An invitation to run
It's a chain reaction to run
To the tempting lines in disposable ink
A dozen casual promises, I'm falling in

So, keep the unblinking eyes, it's okay, I buy it
Keep up the paperwork, I just want to read it
Keep up the party line, I'll might not believe it
But just want to hear it, I just want hear it out loud

And I know, I know
This steady hand that I hold in my hand
An invitation to run
It's a chain reaction to run
To the tempting lines in throwaway speech
A dozen casual promises

Well, back in the day when your letters arrived I'd be lovesick I guess
The Ts, Ls and Js would all slant the same way but now something has changed
The handwriting tells always give us away

The Sky At Night

A simple telescope
An impulse buy from the market town
Where cheap scented candles were three for a pound
Where almost antiques are perused and discarded right under the shopkeepers' eyes

I lost my girl to an eyepiece and the sky
The bedroom slipping into disrepair
The cellophane peels from a paperback book
The wallpaper tears where the pictures once stood

Street lights and dancing say much more to me than the cold sky at night
With your telescope gathering light
I'm left to my thoughts and I'm left to my records
And I'll watch the back of your neck as you sit on your knees gazing up at the sky
With your telescope gathering light
You're lost to the world and you're closing an eye
And I'm left all alone in the deafening quiet
Looking for something to fill all those nights when you're lost gathering light

We'd kiss like teenagers
Who'd run away at seventeen
Romantically plan for a summer abroad
And make it as far as the next market town before midnight
And heading back home

Then I lost my girl to a small refracting lens
An eyepiece and a cylinder of light
The holiday sunglasses stay on the shelf
Gathering dust by the traveller's globe

Street lights and dancing say much more to me than the cold sky at night
With your telescope gathering light
I'll gather my thoughts and I'll long for the courage
To pull down the shutters if I could discover some ways to distract
From the telescope gathering light
But you're lost to the world and you're closing an eye
And I'm left all alone in the deafening quiet
Looking for something to fill all those nights when you're lost gathering light

So open up, let's run through the city tonight
At least until the clouds dissipate

Sound Of The Carnival

Do you remember when the carnival came by?
It was late September '99
You were staying on my sofa, packing bags and throwing darts at maps at random
I was in love with the dancing in the streets
But you won't stay still for anything

As the years went by you never settled down, did you?
You're a postcode lottery
And I'm the girl they built the town around
And suddenly, just when I least expect it, you'll be around
Well are your Silk Cut running out?
Or are you holding out for something else?

As the city descends on us
With the weight of a thousand cartoon anvils falling endlessly down
You'll be the first to leave town
You're the sound of the carnival
You're the sound of a psychedelic orchestra that took to the streets
Swept all the girls off their feet
Am I just some repetitive beats?
Left feeling incomplete

I bought a GPS just to follow you around, sunshine
You're a postcode lottery
Dressed in 1980s hand-me-downs
On summer days, when you rush past my window I feel alive
When my head's still spinning round
I can't help keeping two feet on the ground

As the city will carry us
With the speed of a thousand rollercoasters swiftly spiralling round
You'll be the blur at the front
You're the sound of the carnival
You're the sight of a thousand modern dancers who abandoned the script
Swept all the boys off their feet
Am I just some repetitive beats
To make you feel complete?

And when I tell you you're a lottery
I quite admire the whole philosophy
You're the chaos of the town
So now I'm throwing clothes in rucksacks and I'm aiming darts at atlases, with you by my side
The carnival passing me by for a while

And the city will lift us up
With the grace of a thousand northern landbirds heading south for the sun
Let yourself blink and we're gone
We're the sound of the carnival
We're the sight of a thousand summer festivals that took to the streets
Swept all the kids off their feet
Seeking something that's out of our reach
Where everything's complete

Sparklers

My summer began in September
I can pinpoint the day it arrived
When the apples turned easily loose in my hands or just fell to the ground
When the seasonal staff and the locals combine then the sparks start to fly
But the sparks never last

We worked morning shifts in the orchards
You bunked in the landowner's barn
And despite early starts we'd throw alfresco parties than ran through the night
And with reckless regard for the trees all around we'd share sparklers
And the lights burned your name
In the lids of my eyes
It burned under my skin
But we both knew the deal
That you'll follow the summer to wherever it lands
And just leave me behind
When the orchards run dry
Where the sparks never last

And for two months a year I'm in love with it all
But as quickly as summer arrives then it's all gone, sweeping everyone up
Almost everyone up
Us locals stay put while the seasonals move to another more seasonal town
And if I keep my head down well they might keep me on through the winter
As the students depart
To the next college term
As the winter draws in
Well, could we broker a deal?
And let's follow the summer to wherever it lands
Just don't leave me behind
In this seasonal decline
Where the sparks never last

Gaumont State Cinema

At the High Road end of Willesden Lane
I'm not the best with directions
I took your hand in my hand
And we'd hotfoot to the confectionary
When nine to five means eight to six
The State Cinema means everything
A thousand miles from the Kings Road crowds
The boutiques on Portobello Road

In the double daylight saving time
Amid wood-effect linoleum
I'd watch the white dot on the television
Slowly disappear
In the web of indoor washing lines
In love around a single coal fire
A thousand miles from the Kings Road crowds
The boutiques on Portobello Road

I'll capture the furtive looks we'd share
Scraping the frost from the living room wallpaper
So when nostalgic eyes romanticise, I can stick to my lines
I'll describe how the lights fell on your face
Write down the Woolworth's flavoured lipstick taste
So when nostalgic eyes romanticise, I can stick to my lines

I'll capture the way the frozen milk
Pushed up the silver tops from the bottle necks
So when nostalgic eyes romanticise, I can stick to my lines
I'll write down each stolen summer kiss
Describe all our falling outs and the making-ups
So when nostalgic eyes romanticise, I can stick to my lines

Harbour Lights

Seven Sisters, you showed me how to smile
Seven Sisters, gave me love and hurt in equal size
I'm afraid that I've strayed and there's no turning back
I long for autumn, just to hide within a coat
I long for winter, just to have the streets all to myself
A hidden retreat or a stolen weekend

I'll cling with weathered fingertips
Soft-focused melodies and
Swap decades of hectic streets for
A weekend's faded memories

Where west coast harbour lights keep on calling me back
The lifeboats bob on the turning tide
The carousel spins silently in black and white
And those east coast 45s in their polythene sleeves
The needle drops and I'm feeling seasick
Hypnotised by the hiss and clicks
And the tidal streams
I'm sleepwalking back to the sea

Well I know, the winter takes its toll on you
Those hectic scenes, those unforgiving streets

Drive-by soundbites, in fifteen words or less
Chequebook politics, always in lower case
Just dodge the bullets and try to think of somewhere else
Seven Sisters, I love you but that's it
Swing Out Sister, take me anywhere just play the hits
I'm turning imperfect cartwheels on cold cobbled streets

I'll cling with weathered fingertips
Soft-focused melodies and
Swap decades of hectic streets for
A weekend's faded memories

Where west coast harbour lights keep on calling me back
Where the lifeboats bob on the turning tide
The carousel spins silently in black and white
And those east coast 45s in their polythene sleeves
The needle drops and I'm feeling seasick
Hypnotised by the hiss and clicks
And the tidal streams
I'm sleepwalking back to the sea

Well I know, the winter takes its toll on you
Those hectic scenes, those unforgiving streets
And I know, the temptation just to trade it in
Those hectic scenes, for a weekend's faded memories

Where west coast harbour lights keep on calling me back
Where the lifeboats bob on the turning tide
The carousel spins silently in black and white
And those east coast 45s in their polythene sleeves
The needle drops and I'm feeling seasick
Hypnotised by the hiss and clicks
And the tidal streams
I'm sleepwalking back to the sea

The Flowers Are Still Standing

More canapés sir, a drink from the bar?
I'd suggest that a soft drink might be what's required?
As the extrovert stands, takes the tablecloth ends
And you'll know what comes next as he whips it away
And the flowers and vase are still standing
As the glasses and plates hit the floor
And I'm still waiting here
For the first kiss of the start of the year
I'm stuck waiting here
For the first kiss of the start of the year

The Beaujolais Lanes

Take me back to the ochre-coloured towns
When you were 20, I was 21
And we left the city to its own devices for a while
Just one last summer then we'll knuckle down
Hand in hand, we hugged for warmth on midnight ferries and
I skimmed the guidebook and you drank tax-free red wine
I picked up lines from dated phrasebooks and
You took a biro and sketched out maps of the Beaujolais lanes

Where the tailbacks run for miles
Another vineyard and another chance
To identify complexity, expressiveness and taste
From the Côte de Brouilly to the distant look on your face
And gradually our June vacation
Lost its sense of anticipation somehow
With every swirl and taste and savour
Well I could sense you drifting further away

And across the scattered towns
The connoisseurs and wind-swept tourists
Pursue a true perfection with a smile
As the tears run down the glass
The wine you drink straight from the vineyard
Will fade as winter months draw nearer
Replaced with every year
The wood-smoke has gone to our heads
Now you're heading back to the city and I am lost in the Beaujolais lanes

As the celebrations fade
I was 22 then, you seem years away
Just as anyone in marketing can speak a simple spiel
When something's new, it's got a raw appeal
Then with time, we start to see a clearer picture
Perceptions shift and attractions alter
And I can taste wine with objective rigour
I speak the language and everything's crystal clear

Across the scattered towns
The connoisseurs and wind-swept tourists
Pursue a true perfection with a smile
As the tears run down the glass
The wine you drink straight from the vineyard
Will fade as winter months draw nearer
Replaced with every year
The wood-smoke has gone to our heads
Now you're heading back to the city and I'll
Go aimlessly stumbling back
Back through the Beaujolais Lanes

Five Day Forecast

We step along a terrace where the incline leaves us out of breath and dizzied by the climb
The painted doors and sandstone grey and faded by the smoke and soot of industries gone by
The windows are frozen, the furniture is worn, threadbare
We'll learn to love it if we stay here

The key's a little rusty and the pictures need replacing but the views are out of sight
Look west and there's the harbour if you squint beyond the pylons and the supermarket signs
The streets are a mystery, the neighbourhood's my next best friend
We'll learn to love it if we stay here

Step into sunshine
Or crash against the turning tide?
The jury's out, in two minds
Just hoping for a five day forecast to describe
Are we catching a tailwind
Or overwhelmed or just capsized?
We'll brace ourselves, close our eyes
Just clinging to a sense of what our five day forecast might provide

The streets are a mystery, the neighbourhood's my next best friend
We'll learn to love it if we stay here
The windows are frozen, the furniture is worn, threadbare
We'll learn to love it if we stay here

I could learn to love the climb back home, at least it keeps me fit
I could learn to love the single glazing in such a quiet street
I could learn to love the curtain-twitching neighbours opposite
And hopefully I'll feel this way within the working week

Step into sunshine
Or crash against the turning tide?
The jury's out, in two minds
Just hoping for a five day forecast to describe
Are we catching a tailwind
Or overwhelmed or just capsized?
We'll brace ourselves, close our eyes
Just clinging to a sense of what our five day forecast might provide

The End Of The Pier

I'd brush down a charcoal grey suit
Fasten a skinny grey tie and I'd picture you fixing your hair up
Ironing neat sunray pleats in a circular skirt
I'd practice the steps in my hall
I'd try out my quickstep and side kicks round chairs by the kitchen room table
Until typically just as it started to click, along came the Twist

We'd meet at the end of the pier
Spin around the Edwardian ballroom and drink Vodka Collins from hipflasks
And stroll back to land with a Woodbine in hand
You'd laugh with the girls from the shop
We'd kiss on the decking and smile at the leather-clad teddy boy try-hards
Bet they wished they could dance the way that we danced round that old wooden hall, and who would have thought

That I'd be the one who sits at the end of the pier all alone watching the tide
That I'd be the one who stands at the faded pavilion doors
Watching the space where we'd dance to the bands on a Saturday night

The gatehouse got burned to the ground
The cafe became an arcade and our ballroom became a casino
The old helter-skelter unused and unloved
I can picture your dress spinning round
Sometimes I can still see our love in the candyfloss-sharing young couples that pass
But I bet they can't dance the way that we danced round that old wooden hall, and who would have thought

That I'd be the one who sits on the end of the pier all alone watching the tide
That I'd be the one practising side kicks and lifts round the hall in the same charcoal suit
Fire brigade staff, the next time it's burning and everyone's safe, please just stand aside
Or I'll be the one who still stands at the faded pavilion doors
Watching the space where we'd dance to the bands on a Saturday night

Flight Paths

Footsteps

You had me when I saw your shoes 
Or trainers if truth be told 
You had my heart the day I heard your footsteps near me 
And every summer passed me by 
The stairs to my apartment lacked excitement and style 
Until I heard your footsteps with me 

On the top deck of the 23 
Through winter snow and autumn leaves 
Our footsteps in sync 
It's a beautiful thing, choreography 

From the supermarket aisles to the dancefloors of provincial towns 
I'd occupy my vacant hours just waiting for something 
For every couple holding hands in the high street 
You can bet your life 
You'll only hear a single set of footsteps between them 

On the platforms of the Central line 
The beaches of a south coast town 
Our footsteps in sync 
It's a beautiful thing, choreography 

Like the mischief hidden in your eyes 
Or the retro clothes you always buy 
I just hope I'll always hear your footsteps with me 
Like the clutter in your kitchen 
The same song you keep on whistling 
I just hope I'll always hear your footsteps with me 

On the top deck of the 23 
Through winter snow and autumn leaves 
Our footsteps in sync 
It's a beautiful thing, choreography 

Like the mischief hidden in your eyes 
Or the retro clothes you always buy 
I just hope I'll always hear your footsteps with me 
Like the clutter in your kitchen 
The same song you keep on whistling 
I just hope I'll always hear your footsteps with me

We’ll take one step forwards and then two steps backwards…

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Fleeting moments

Hanging on for someone is quite addictive
When you gaze from high-rise windows 
At the lights beyond the ring road and the social club
One girl’s perfection is another’s expectation 
And the pureness of a moment always overstays its welcome 
If I linger too long

I’m romantic by design
I see joy within the syntax of a shop sign 
Or a bus stop conversation in a west country town
I feel overwhelmed sometimes by all the rational types 
Who just dismiss coincidence and instinct and perception
As a trick of the mind

It’s always fleeting, like snapshots or flashbacks and
Unwritten endings and the promises wrapped up inside
And I’m all potential, and potential is the spark behind my eyes
Behind my eyes

I’m forensic by design
I’m the sort who sees a magic trick 
Then kills himself to find out how it’s done 
And then I’m always let down
I’m all details and facts
How can I sleep when there’s comparisons and speculation, 
Talking heads, deliberations haunting me

Fleeting moments are insomnia for the curious and
Untied endings are the curse of inquisitive minds
And so what’s potential,
When potential might be all you ever know?
I don’t know

Oh the summer, it drags its heels
And then for every fleeting moment 
There’s a fortnight left to wonder if it happened at all…

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Camera Angles

Every night we sketch a storyboard 
Drawings spread across the bed 
Deciphering the day ahead and conversations 
Sequences and camera angles 
You’re using charcoal and felt-tips 
I’m posing mannequins to map it all out 
The imaginary camera work 

Kicking leaves up in the cul-de-sacs 
Where every road’s a movie set 
And every conversation has been pre-approved 
And road-tested by focus groups 
And here, back in real life at our desks 
Still imagining we’re filming on sets 
Where the cameras film in single takes 

So you pick out locations and directions for the cast 
I’ll be learning lines for all occasions that arise 
We’ll imagine clapperboards for every single scene in our day-to-day lives 
And you’ll find continuity from one clip to the next 
I’ll be free to improvise as long as it complies with an overall view 
Where the cameras always follow you 

And it’s enchanting in a certain way 
Every word is magnified 
Every look considered 
Yet we’re bordering on obsession on directing 
Alongside fictitious camera crews that film 
Imaginary plots that never work through 
When the cameras never follow you 

So you could leave the stories and the dialogue to chance 
I’ll be free to improvise and take things as they come and 
We’ll keep up an open mind for every single scene in our day-to-day lives 
And we’ll find continuity from one day to the next 
No-one needs a storyboard to tell us what we should have known all along 
That the cameras follow everyone 

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The outskirts of town

Growing up on the outskirts of town 
To the sound of ice cream vans and flight paths above 
And we raced on bikes through the streets after dark 
Till that girl got knocked down by a Volkswagen car 
And she stayed inside as she started to heal 
As the cinema closed and the theatre closed too 
And I’d later run through the high street at night 
Past the charity shops and the flashing blue lights on the outskirts of town 

Endless Threads was a shop on my road 
Opened in autumn, by winter it’s closed 
As it found no favour with home-made designs 
As the kids wait on platforms for city-bound trains 
And the girl with the bike moved in over the shop 
Opened the boxes the owners forgot and their 
Faded plans for a cinema club 
Simply gathering dust with the discounted clothes 

And a handwritten note, with the words… 

“To whomever this letter might find 
Here’s the last of my dreams on the outskirts of town 
I’m in love with the smiles on pedestrian streets 
But I’ve fallen for something that’s out of my reach 
And I guess the anonymous city’s for me 
And I guess I’m naïve if I think I’ll survive on the outskirts of town” 

And I understand, I can see the bright lights in your eyes 

And she folds the note, puts it back in the box 
Hands in the clothes to the charity shops 
And she leaves her bike on some railings unchained 
And then waits on a bench for a city-bound train on the outskirts of town

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Cross The Line

I’m asleep on a train on the Zone 2 boundary
Awoken by the weary sigh of a ticket guy
Placating some ‘young lady’ by his side
I was late, I was tired and I lost my Oyster card
He’s coming on with all this tired bureaucracy
When all I need is empathy and sleep

On the street nothing’s changed since the 1990s
(You’ve changed, you’re so much older)
Oh, I haven’t changed since ‘99
(Well I’ve seen your suit)
I’ve still got my paperround

When I get to my desk I’m a different person
(That’s a conscious choice you made though)
I’ll manage risks and strategies
(Is that enough?)
Yes, as long as I get paid

I’m a painter, always painting lies
It was all fine
Til a man in a street said that what you’ve done there is just
Cross the line
I’ve no desire to go too far and 
Cross the line
Led astray by the city ways and 
Cross the line
I don’t know why but I always try for the last word
When you know the last word’s mine

As a kid I would run through the fields and orchards
(What about your hayfever though?)
I’d climb the branches to the top
(What with your vertigo?)
Look I’m making all this up
I’ve a dream of a house with the perfect garden
(Yeah, you and a thousand of others)
The pebble dash and the crazy pave
(And a 4x4?)
Nah, we’d cycle every day

I’m a carpenter
Chip away at dreams
Til a bartender
Said that one of these days all your cycnical ways will just
Cross the line
I’ve no desire to go too far and 
Cross the line
Led astray by the city ways and 
Cross the line
I don’t know why but I always try for the last word
When you know the last word’s mine

I’d swap some sleep for a fixed emotion
A G&T and some suntan lotion
A bag of chips in a seaside coast town
An empty seat on the underground and
A basement club where there’s space for dancing
A conversation that’s life enhancing
A sudden twist that I’m not expecting 
A novelette with a cryptic ending 

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Skating on thin ice

I’ve been dying to tell you for some time
That my friends have up and left me and I’m skating on thin ice
Threw my arms around a memory
Of laughter in the disco and the sense of family

The rain stopped falling 
When you walked up to me

Now my backpack’s bulging and I’m running away again
And my heart is heavy with the words you said to me

Threw my arms around a memory
Of late night drinking and dancing ‘til three

The rain stopped falling 
When you walked up to me
I can’t stop crying
I’m running on empty

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Sweetness and light

And the most curious thing 
Aside from the way that the sun often shines inappropriately on a crisis 
Aside from the strange sense of calm 
And the way that we instinctively sit on the seats on the left hand side of the top deck of your local bus 
Is what happens to all of the secrets we carelessly shared on those January days on the sofa in the front room of your terraced house? 
Now things are over, tell me do they just disappear or get broadcast on all channels and frequencies around town? 

I guess we both feel like talking 
But maybe we could find a way to be discreet this time? 

And we're fine with the truth 
It's more just the stuff we'll make up when we're drunk to find favour with friends and distant acquaintances 
And you're welcome to say I'm often distracted and don't always put my books straight back on their bookshelves, they just lie around 
And I'll just say you're forgetful
From PIN numbers, birthdays and dentist appointments to paying your rent
But they know that anyway 
And we'll just leave it there 
If anyone asks well we just grew apart and there's nothing to share 

I know we both feel like talking 
But maybe we could find a way to be discreet? 

And I'll stand aside, bite my tongue until the moment subsides 
I'll stand aside and let everyone think that you're sweetness and light 
I'll stand aside, close my eyes until the moment subsides 
I'll stand aside and let everyone think that you're sweetness and light 

And I'll pack my bags 
Warm as the sun shines obliviously 
I know it's a poor consolation for me 
As I sit on the bus in our regular seats 
The secrets we shared in your old terraced house on those January days 
Will stay with the sofa and moth-eaten chairs 
Fade over time, disappear 
And I'll stand aside and let people decide for themselves 
If you're sweetness and light... or something else 

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I’m not going out

I didn’t want to read the news today, I turned my head away
All calls diverted to my answer phone
Position closed I don’t suppose you’d take a message for me?
My work is done, I’m going home

Well I’m not going out
I’m going to stay at home tonight
I’m not going out
I’m going to stay at home and write my autobiography
A shopping list, a love letter to D
Leave me alone, I’m staying home

I didn’t want to see the news today, I turned my head away
(I’d rather see your picture)
All calls directed to my answer phone
(You wouldn’t call me anyway)
Sit in the dark just don’t come knocking now, I’m locking out the world
(Don’t ask me any questions)
My work is done, I’m laying low
(I just don’t know what happened)

Well I’m not going out
I’m going to stay at home tonight
I’m not going out
I’m going to stay at home and write my autobiography
A shopping list, a love letter to D
Leave me alone, I’m staying home

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Every good time we ever had

Hilltops, snowdrops, late night dares
Queuing outside for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Soft toys, Beach Boys, corduroy flares
Kissing for hours
Up on Crystal Drive
Well I wrote down all the good times
Crystal Drive 
As the years go by, I won’t change my mind

We got a motorboat lost in a land-locked harbour
Did a karaoke turn you regretted after
Left your gran and granddad in fits of laughter 
And you said at the time
That I’d just forget everything
And you’d never understand
But I wrote this list down
Every good time we ever had

We did a politics course in the last semester
They threw you in the lake in my favourite sweater
You wrote you loved me in your final letter
But in the very next line
You said I’d just forget everthing 
And you’d never understand
But I wrote this list down
Every good time we ever had

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Paper Aeroplanes

There’s a snap as you step on a twig 
We’re frozen on tiptoes in fear 
And sink to our heels in relief 
Past kids on their paperround trails 
Milkfloats and shiftworker cars 
And revellers staggering home 

Rendezvous at the top of the park 
Gaze down at the smoke and the lights 
The buildings suspiciously quiet 
And I reach for a Paperchase bag 
Rip pages from plain A4 pads 
Write notes for the city below 

And I’m folding arrows, and you’re folding darts, dear 
And I’m E H Mathews and you’re Ninomiya 
It’s all in symmetrics and aerodynamics in classic design 
As it glides from my hands 

Past the padlocked park gates 
Through the cold city streets 
Past the tired chief execs 
Somersaults and pirouettes 
Past health spa retreats 
Venture capitalists 
‘Til they swoop and they fall 
Paper aeroplanes are raining down 
Just to haunt you 

We’ll launch ‘til we drop 
Chapped hands and sharp paper cuts 
Bruises and javelin arms 
And they’ll glance off the lampposts and trees 
Knock hats off the suits in the street 
And land in their coffees and teas 

So I’m making airfoils and you’ve built a fuselage 
I’m writing sound bites and you’ve written monologues 
So, pick the targets, they’ll fly with a serene velocity girl 
Glide and then fall 

Past the rush hour cars 
And the cinema aisles 
And the rooftop hotels 
Pirouettes and somersaults 
Past old market stalls 
And juvenile courts 
Til they swoop and they fall
Paper aeroplanes are raining down 
Just to haunt you somehow 

And as the sun comes up 
Gaze at the horizon and ask 
What on earth is going on? 
Pirouettes and somersaults 

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All we do is rush around

Seems like lately
From leaves on the line to Paxman’s ‘goodnight’
All I ever seem to do is rush around
There’s never a second to think
And you’re running
From pavements and parks from dawn until dusk
All you ever seem to do is rush around
Never a second to gaze
At the pattern the sun makes through curtains and blinds
Or the way that your fringe frames your eyes

As the weekends dissolve in our calendars and
Seems like every evening’s a school night
In the goldrush from status to endless deadlines 
All we ever seem to do is rush around

And the next day
You’re there by my side with a quizzical eye saying
‘All you ever seem to do is laze around looking at clouds’ 
As a book lies face down on the table, a crease in the spine
And we’re supposed to be running for our lives

As the weekends dissolve in our calendars and
Seems like every evening’s a school night
In the goldrush from status to endless deadlines 
All we ever seem to do is rush around

And on bank holidays we stop and say
‘Let’s try again next year

‘Cos all we do is rush around’

Waking Up EP

Waking Up

There's a saying that hangs in my family's hall which they found in an airport gift shop 
"No deberíamos perder el tiempo" 
And on Sunday I idly looked up the words on an otherwise inactive weekend 
And if only I'd had it translated before 
And I've never been one for regretting 
But when I'm back home well the words trace my steps round the kitchen

There's a sketch on my pad like a drunk spider's web or a family tree with its branches 
Where the multiple marriages break up the flow 
And the plans and the deadlines are scattered around like litter collects on the high road 
And the more you collect, it continues to spread 
And the blueprints I pinned to the fridge 
Are lost behind photos and letters and flyers for gigs

With the love I bestowed on the plans 
Forgot all the steps that would bring it to life 
I'll plan to perfection and skip all the actions that count

There's a window at thirty degrees to the floor in the roof of an attic conversion 
It rattles in winter and creaks in the spring 
And in autumn the sunshine reflects off a mirror and spotlights the frame of a photo 
But the photo's been swapped for a checklist and boxes 
On the left there's a clock with the date 
On the right there's a pile of distractions to tempt me away

And I've never been one to look back 
But there's always an anecdote even when something falls flat

With the love I bestowed on the plans 
Forgot all the steps that would bring it to life 
I'll plan to perfection and skip all the actions that count

And as winter transcends into spring 
The light wakes me earlier every morning 
And waking up early at weekends is probably the start of something

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Falling Leaves

Kiss me in the autumn at the station by the drycleaners and the fellas selling travelcards
Hold my hands and tell me that The Fall will never leave me and The Actionnettes won't break my heart
Write my name in marker pen across the local bus stop and I'll steal you all the books you love
Call the local paper and pretend we're getting married and I'll borrow you my library card

You're the blindfold round my eyes
You're my navigation satellite
I'm a tightrope walker looking down on the sights

I don't know what happened with your sister and her mother, but I don't think they're impressed with me
I don't think they like what I've been doing with my life, but can't they see it's only temporary?
I can't help but worry that your friend thinks I'm a daydreamer with aspirations quite naive
The only things worth chasing are the things that are creative, and I'm not talking accountancy

You're a red hotel on Mayfair
A superlative on a triple word score
I'm a battleship, you're a direct hit and I'm sinking

And like falling leaves in autumn you can sweep me up or pass me by
Like falling snow against your skin, or the cigarettes I can't pack in
And falling in with you is like a Class A drug they couldn't ban
The photograph that makes you smile and sends a shiver down your spine
Gravity's got me falling indefinitely

I don't think it matters my career path's in tatters, I could always take a course or two
Tell me what you're thinking, maybe when I've finished singing, I suppose this is a family tune
I think I'm addicted, I get panicked when you're missing, I need patches when you're not around
I have conversations in my head that you're not party to, you should have heard the things you said!

Like an etching on my brain
Like a letter tacked on my DNA
I'm a chip pan fire, you're the water that won't stay away

And like falling leaves in autumn you can sweep me up or pass me by
Like falling snow against your skin, or the cigarettes I can't pack in
You're the blindfold round my eyes
You're my navigation satellite
And just falling in with you is like a Class A drug they couldn't ban
The photograph that makes you smile and sends a shiver down your spine
Gravity's got me falling indefinitely

Tell me if it ever ends you'll let me have my heart back in a single piece
You're the one I call after closing time
The night bus spins to the spellbinding sound of your voice...

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Love Is The Stick You Throw

Throw the keys into the bowl and gather letters off the hallway floor
It’s just another summer night indoors
Looking for a sign of your familiar writing like the day before
Among the bills and local taxi firms
A picture postcard from Berlin; you say you’re fine, you’re made some friends
You just need a bit of time to get your head straight

I’ve heard it all before, I’ve read these words so many times it doesn’t really scare me
I pin it to the kitchen cupboard door
It makes no difference what you say or how long you will stay away this time
But can I make a suggestion…

Don’t think I cannot read between the lines
I’ve won this game a hundred times
I’ve got the gold, the silver and the bronze

Love is the stick you throw; however far it goes, you’ll find your way back home again

Don’t think I cannot read between the lines
I’ve won this game a hundred times
I’ve got the gold, the silver and the bronze

Throw the keys into the bowl and gather letters off the hallway floor
It’s just another summer night indoors…

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Don't Stop

Oh, I'm tired, I'm tired of all this introspection 
Each day being led by committee direction 
Just seems somehow all of my friends found the answers (well good for them) 
I know, it's all I can do to stop calling them

And oh, you're tough, your confidence is made by Teflon 
I can't hide and I never seem to learn all my lessons 
I can't look, 'cos your eyes burn a hole straight through me (and that's unfair) 
I know because all of my secrets are spread round town

And if I start to tell you, I'm not as clued up as I'd like 
Just stop me 
And if I let slip, there's something I'm trying to hide 
Just stop me 
Because a lifestyle where I'm constantly living a lie 
Has to be preferable to showing my hand

Oh, I'm lost, I'm lost inside a flippin’ vortex 
Spiral down watching everyone else moving forwards 
And yeah, yeah, you're a fragment of hope but you're fake (don't take offence) 
I know, it's like ladders and snakes, but there's only snakes

And if I start to tell you, that maybe I don't feel like dancing 
Don't stop me 
If I let slip, yeah maybe there's someone I fancy 
Don't stop me 
Because a lifestyle, where I'm constantly showing my hand 
Has to be preferable to living a lie

I went on trial at my instigation 
Opened my files to investigation 
Caught your eye in a conversation 
And it might be love, and I might be mistaken 
I took advice and I made a statement 
A party line of my own creation 
You're a helping hand, I'm appreciation 
And it might be love, and I might be mistaken

And if I start to tell you, I'm not as clued up as I'd like 
Don't stop me 
And if I let slip, there's something I'm trying to hide 
Don't stop me 
And if I tell you that maybe I don't feel like dancing 
Don't stop me 
If I let slip, yeah maybe there's someone I fancy 
Don't stop me 
Because a lifestyle, where I'm constantly showing my hand 
Has to be preferable to living a lie

Other

Summertime

Facing up to summertime
A campfire and a box of wine
A festival to keep the workers occupied
Just another summertime
A t-shirt tan, a hosepipe ban
A Sunday night, a barbeque that overran

Just another can of Pimms
A secret that you overheard and can’t keep in
An incident, and no-one’s talking
Summer lacks technology 
To engineer apologies and amnesties
We’ll have to try diplomacy

If everything leads up to summertime
Most our time’s spent in the shade

Sometimes summer never leaves
The temping job you took to pay tuition fees
Is never quite what it first seems
Look at summer ecstasy
It’s a media conspiracy of theme park deals
Calais trips and barbeques 

If everything leads up to summertime
Most our time’s spent in the shade
If everything leads up to summertime
Most our time’s spent in the shade

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