Lyrical themes: Love at the End of the World

Another recurring theme in my lyrics is love at the end of the world – or against some other apocalyptic backdrop.

I think subconsciously I’m often writing the sort of songs that could have been written by Disaster Area, the fictional band from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

Their songs are on the whole very simple and mostly follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.”


This song from my album Happy People is all about love in a world where evil government satellites are spying on couples and deciding who is and is not a good match. It also features hand claps in the chorus, because why not?


Run is literally about Love at the End of the World. It has a verse with a funny time signature, but apart from that it’s a straight ahead rock a song about holding hands with the person you love and running as fast as you can from the approaching darkness.

What We Say Three Times Is True

The first part of my Time Traveller Suite, What We Say Three Times Is True is an 8 minute rock song about having lost the person you love in a time vortex. The Time Traveller is searching for the girl with the missing eye, who appeared at the foot of his bed one night during a time travel malfunction.

He doesn’t know that this future version of her hates him and wants him dead. He hasn’t got to the part of the story yet…

Wizards of this Town – new subscribers only single

I just released a new single to my bandcamp subscribers page, in advance of the new album.
If you’re not a subscriber you get to hear it when the new album is released, which will be roughly June this year. 
Wizards of this Town was written in 2015 (I think) and has been part of my acoustic set for a while. This is the first time it has been recorded in full band fashion.
The summer of 2015 was unpleasantly hot. I was working in a school in the poor end of Enfield. This was my first job after quitting my teaching career (choose life!) for the world of educational charity, so I actually got to take a lunch break on this job. So I’d often walk around the area, having a little explore. That part of Enfield is decades past its prime, but hints of its past glories are still there if you’re looking for them. There are ex-industrial areas, old munitions factories, ruined old canals. There are also drunks and drug dealers in the park, and a general air of an area down on its luck (or down, due to political decisions for all I know).
Naturally, I found myself wondering whether the people who lived round there ever tried to change the place through the use of magic.
I particularly started to think this after catching sight of a wizard half-way up a council tower block. Yeah, it might have been a load of black laundry out on a balcony. It was a long way away, and maybe in the horrible heat haze of that summer I wasn’t thinking entirely straight but I know what I saw.
So I wrote a song about it, with drunkard mages and scared nerdy wizards drinking special brew and casting spells in the council park.
In the next couple of months there will be more new subscriber stuff and the small matter of a brand new album. Keep ‘em peeled!

Lyrical themes: Suspended Animation

Recently I wrote a blog post about dreams and nightmares – a common motif in my songs. Another recurring theme is what I think of as ‘suspended animation’. I have several songs about characters who have, in one way or another, hidden away from the world. Distanced themselves from human contact. Here are a few of them:

All Of The Dark 

Arguably the whole of my 5th studio album is about this issue, but this final track is where the main character takes his final step. Having tried to escape from the controlling, totalitarian government, he gives in and has them strip away all his memories and emotions.

Make me nameless and faceless 
Scratch out eyes and teeth and soul 
Make me blank and empty and void and nothing 
I’ll be on the wind 
Smoke mist gone 

Can you take 
All of the dark 
All of the things I’ve believed?

It’s a long song this. Nine minutes of despair set to a rock beat. I particularly like the dreamy opening and the big rocking middle section.

I Still Smile

A much lower key approach to a similar theme is I Still Smile. This song is from the point of view of a latex robot that someone has bought in a last ditch attempt to find some sort of companionship.

I have all the time you need
I have all you want
My arms are always here
To make you feel complete

Even when you’re crying, I still smile. 

Self Made Man

There are several songs that I think of as my ‘signature songs’. Some of The Creatures is one of those. So is this.

Self Made Man is about a man who has been slowly replacing all his body part with mechanical alternatives. Eyes, muscles, legs, arms, teeth. Eventually every inch of his flesh.

There use to be a woman who used to be my wife 
I’ve cleaned off all the rust 
From all the tears she cried 

There’s one tiny spot, one little place, one last piece of flesh 
This time tomorrow it will be replaced with gleaming wire mesh 

Those lines are some of my best, I think.

Why do I write about this theme? I think there are several reasons. One of them is simply my influences. I love Radiohead and this is a common theme in Thom Yorke’s lyrics. I’m also a comedy nerd and Chris Morris’s Blue Jam radio show (you don’t know it? Listen, quick!) also has a similar mood.

But also, at the risk of sounding a bit too confessional, it’s a feeling I can relate to. I am definitely an introvert and there’s something about solitude that appeals to me a great deal. I am also often genuinely bemused by what are considered normal social expectations and interactions, and therefore can often feel a little alienated.

But that’s just normal stuff for us introverted people. Nothing in my life is half as weird as what the characters in my songs have done to themselves.