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Swiss-clean-table_darker.jpg

RELEASE DATE

20-Oct-2000

TRACK LISTING

  1. That Man On the Black 'n' White TV

  2. Tears

  3. Ghosts On a Nowhere Train

  4. Horse (Version With Prelude)

  5. This Is the Time

  6. Vampire Butterfly

  7. Here It Resides

  8. Snowman

  9. Move Like Tides

  10. How Much Can I Handle?

  11. Steal the Universe

  12. The Sa Wa Dee Lobby (Instrumental)

ALBUM NOTES

It was September 1999 when I discovered the pocket-sized town of Gimmelwald in the Swiss Alps.

I arrived Day One, dropped my cumbersome backpack, walked a few territorial laps around the hostel, and due, without question, to the spectacular mountainous setting, withdrew my guitar from its case.​

Up until this point, I’d been a guitarist only, more of a right-hand man to certain singers than a singer myself, and having never been pleased by the sound of my own voice, I was loath to sing the mandatory backing vocals in the various bands I’d played in. Quite accustomed, I was always on the sniff for singers to collaborate with, but it was perhaps from my steadily increasing vocal confidence that came with busking around Europe, that I realised I should cease looking for singers and step up to become one.

As a voluntary baptism of fire, it was on Day One in Gimmelwald that I perched myself on hostel’s top balcony, encased in a mountainous view that no camera could dream to capture, and swore I wouldn't stand up from the stool I was sitting until I’d written a full song – not a ‘piece of music’, as I’d done in the past, music that could be ‘sung over’ by a singer, but a song like that of actual songwriters writing for themselves. I did, and the first tangible song I ever wrote – having sat there until nightfall – was called Horse. Shite name, but hey, horses are cool!

From here on a floodgate opened, and due not only to the inspiring location, but, lack of distractions, I was soon writing further songs. Ghosts On A Nowhere Train was born, then followed That Man On The Black 'n' White TV. Perhaps even more exciting than their arrival, was testing them in the lively jamming sessions that occurred each night with the host of other musicians passing through the hostel.

Also included in this demo anthology, such as Vampire Butterfly and Here It Resides – dating as far back as the mid-90’s – are songs written from the point of view of a guitarist writing music as opposed to a singer writing songs. This is a warts and all album, a bookmark in embryonic time. In contrast to my tendency to feel apologetic, however, for the often weak vocals that wrack these works, and, attempts to rock that fit me less like a glove than a condom over my head, what I’m very proud of, is to hear the younger lad that I was, sifting through his influences, and embarking, for the first ever time, on farming out the music he knew was in him.

LYRICS

THAT MAN ON THE BLACK 'N' WHITE TV 

Riding through the wind

His face is ice; he has a heart of fire

Strength comes within

A real man I hope to be like him

 

Alone he presses on, he’s turning heads

All smiles do point his way

This man can do no wrong

His chin is high his pride can touch the sky

 

Chorus:

Cool. He’s so cool

 

The desert greets him warm

The snow, the sleet just spur him on

He’s just what we all need

A locked man has come to set us free

 

Wanted his always been

He scares the weak, the old, the frail and thin

But I’ll aspire to be

Just like that man on the black 'n' white TV

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

Riding through the wind

His face is ice; he has a heart of fire

Strength comes within

A real man I hope to be like him

 

The desert greets him warm

The snow, the sleet just spurs him on

He’s just what we all need

A locked man has come to set us free

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

 

TEARS 

Drifting amongst the thoughts I breed

My gazing eyes are in a stare

Been here before this day form dream my

Mind contains me everywhere… oh…

 

Clocks are ticking louder than ever

Voices echo beyond their call

Scales are tipping, think I’m slipping

Spread my wings and take this fall… oh…

 

It’s a breakdown

 

Inbound traffic building in me

Find the exit I’m choking up

Outbound signs they read of the times

Broken down and had enough

 

Tears are welling, whispers telling

Where to turn now I just don’t know

I’ll save the world some other day

I’ve built it up just to let it go… oh…

 

Let it go

 

 

GHOSTS ON A NOWHERE TRAIN

Sitting on a bench being Forest’s friend

Spending the day going nowhere

We talk of beginning and even the end

We stop, we pause, we stare

 

Without each other the answer is the same

But we may never find them,

I’ll invert my eyes and look inside

And see what I’m really thinking

 

The lonely track is straight and cold

A speeding express to nowhere

I long escape I wish the tracks would fold

But pull the chord I dare

 

Cutting deep against my own grain

Back to the wall, hand to the cane

Scratching at walls won’t break this train

United we knee but we are the prey

 

Chorus:

Are we all ghosts on a nowhere train?

In single file onto the pile

They send us away

 

Starting at the sky wondering where it ends

And wondering if we’ll ever get there

The furthest star my closest friend

Or a burnt-out rescue flare

 

Screaming at candles won’t budge this flame

Burring hearts extinguished and tamed

Lost in the dark have I sold out again?

But I’ve seen the light, so I’ll jump off this train

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

I’d love to be, I hate to be, don’t want to be, I want to be…

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

 

HORSE 

And so we’re searching for reasons

Are we slipping or climbing up these walls?

Now is the season we’ll stay younger than the adult world

We’ll be breaking and freezing

We’ll be crying, laughing, growing strong

United we’re learning, a little bit of hope, a pinch of love it’s on

 

Chorus:

There ain’t no breaking in this horse so hold on tightly

 

So all wheels will keep turning

The days roll by, the nights are growing cold

Follow the yearning, a hope, skip, a jump

I’m wearing a crown of gold

His fears are now fading

He’s dancing in the dark to his favourite song

Blinded and knowing that something good will come out after all

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

And so we’re searching for reasons

Are we slipping or climbing up these walls?

Now is the season we’ll stay younger than the adult world

We’ll be breaking and freezing

We’ll be crying, laughing, growing strong

United we’re learning, a little bit of hope, a pinch of love it’s on

 

Chorus reprise – 

 

 

THIS IS THE TIME 

It’s only as hard as you let it be

It’s only as far as you chose to see

It’s only as wide as your river flows

It’s only as deep as this ocean goes

It’s only as quick as the sands of time

It’s only as slow as this uphill climb

It’s only as dark as your eyes are closed

It’s only as worn as it is exposed

 

It’s only as green as you chose to know

It’s only as white as the brilliant snow

It’s only as raw as you chose to cook

It’s only as old as this dusty book

It’s only as scared as the kid has seen

It’s only as cold as you want to be

It’s only as loose as you tie your bow

It’s only as back as you want to go

 

This is the time I will let it be

This is the range I do choose to see

This is the width that this river flows

This is the depth that this ocean goes

This is the drag of the sands of time

This is the speed of this uphill climb

This is the dark as my eyes are closed

This is the wear as it is exposed

 

This is the time

 

 

VAMPIRE BUTTERFLY​

She’s picking the stitch of her cocoon

Won’t be long, will be real soon

When she breaks through and sees the light

For her sore eyes it’ll be a sight

She’ll take to the town in flaring red

Planting seeds in your head

She’s a living vampire butterfly

Where she lands is where she’ll try

 

This girl knows just what to say

Who to work and where to play

But hold her tail and grip with fear

Coz if you blink, she’ll disappear

Butterfly cross vampire bat

Pretty colours but a heart of black

Like a hanging rose she’ll draw you in

And sink her teeth deep in the sin

 

Chorus:

Vampire Butterfly, Vampire Butterfly, Vampire Butterfly,

Like a hanging rose she’ll draw you in

And sink her teeth deep in the sin

 

She’ll love the scene in a few drinks time

Pretty soon it’ll all be divine

She’s oiled for the job and working the room

Circling the scene under the moon

She’s a vampire butterfly in the wind

Knows where she’s going and knows where she’s been

Now all red lights are turning green

So check your neck and choose your scene

 

You’re not the only one she’s loved

Like someone sent from above

Just a puppet of her own hand

From a higher force she gets command

You’re on the list the menu tonight

Watch your back until it’s light

You’re bumping shoulders with the enemy

Resist the kiss of the power queen

 

So when you’re strutting home at night

Out of dark stay in the light

Don’t look back you better run

Just make sure you’re not the next one

Now she’s back in her cacoon

Sow it shut from night til noon

Hanging in the dark where she belongs

Waiting it out til tomorrow comes

 

Chorus:

Vampire Butterfly, Vampire Butterfly, Vampire Butterfly

Now all red lights are turning green

So check your neck and choose your scene

 

She’s picking the stitch of her cacoon

Won’t be long, will be real soon

When she breaks through and sees the light

For her sore eyes it’ll be a sight

She’ll take to the town in flaring red

Planting seeds in your head

She’s a living vampire butterfly

Where she lands is where she’ll try

 

Chorus:

Vampire Butterfly, Vampire Butterfly, Vampire Butterfly

You’re bumping shoulders with the enemy

Resist the kiss of the power queen

 

 

HERE IT RESIDES

Here it resides, in the channels of her mind

The start to a game with no ending

The path may divide, rise or subside

Fade of last light is pending

 

Again, it will find, itself lost and find

Burned by the time it’s spending

Here it resides, in the channels of her mind

Lost in my maze, you save me

 

 

SNOWMAN

Like a snowman that’s seen the light, he’s through

 

Today could be the one

We’ll answer to the sun

Sing, it’ll set us free

Crawl to walk then run

 

Run and never stop

It might be all you’ll got

Freeze, drop to your knees

Iced until you’re not

 

Chorus:

Welcome to

Peel off a brand-new life

It’s due

Like a snowman whose’ seen the light

He’s through

But he’s melting with a smile

How cool

 

Melt, hearts drip away

Time to start again

Chill, never let it spill

To rest is where it lays

 

Chorus reprise –

 

Well it’s taken some time, but we’ve seen the light

It’s taken some time, but it worked out right

Our brand-new shoes will take us there

Gliding all around we’ll walk on air

 

You can lock up the man and throw out the key

He’ll melt around the locks, where can he be?

Now the snowman he’s gone, he found the day

He melted with a smile; he’s on his way

 

 

MOVE LIKE TIDES 

With all now still feel the chill

But I don’t know where I’m until

I’m there in you; I’m one in two

 

Light so bright, I’m blinded by

Draws me in with hands now tied

Linger loom I’m sending through

 

I’ve waited now the length of dark

Flip a coin as trails part

I’m coming through; I’m one in two

 

The other side where no one hides

Join like water movie like tides

Moving through to get to you, to get to you

 

I’ve waited now the length of dark

The trails carved as oceans part

Linger loom, you’re coming through

 

Hypnotised, mesmerised, float on up now feel the rise

Behind moons, sail through,

Join like water, movie like tides

The light won’t tire, fade or expire

Illumination takes you higher

The kingdom of fire will get to you, will get to you

It’s moving through, linger loom

Sending through, feel the rise

Move like tides, I’m coming through

 

I’m coming through

 

 

HOW MUCH CAN I HANDLE? 

So sticks and stones just mess my hair

Your words they leave me in bruises

Short of breath, the breath of despair

The choice of beggars and choosers

 

Chorus:

How much can I handle?

When you reflect on an angle

You spray your fuel at your candle

You’re breaking up in a tangle

 

Your stars could assemble to meet your command

Your clouds they move into view

Snap of your fingers they rise to the stand

You lay it down, lay it down

 

You’re dancing on the coals, you’re burning again

You’re not the only slave on the chain

 

Chorus reprise –

 

You’re dancing on the coals, you’re burning again

You’re not the only slave on the chain

 

Perhaps like a cat designed to fall

Toying with the heights to test us all

Your landing mat is wearing thin

Laps in your head have cage you in

 

So sticks and stones just mess my hair

Your words they leave me in bruises

Short of breath, the breath of despair

The choice of beggars and choosers

 

Chorus:

How much can I handle?

When you reflect on an angle

You spray your fuel at your candle

You’re breaking up in a tangle

How much can I handle?

How much can I handle?

You spray the fuel at your candle

How much can I handle?

How much can I handle?

 

STEAL THE UNIVERSE

To dear Dave

Have you heard the awful news?

About a hot night

A cold intention blew my fuse

 

I held her close against my face

I pulled her strings and made her play

You’ll never know

How I miss you

 

A setting sun and a drifting mind

She resides where the ocean meets the sky

There’s an empty space

A yearning

 

Chorus:

They cannot steal the universe you know

The music plays on, I’m playing

We’re not tied to the ground we’re on

We obit ‘round the song, we’re making

 

My heart it bleeds

While my head lives in its memory

I fill the space

With the magic that you sent me

 

She taught me to play and sing

To fill the holes the emptiness the night

Seems to bring

 

I trace the mark that she left on me

Scare to scare we share the bleeding

Now I’m cold and the wind it stings

I’m shaking