Secret Album 2


Is this a carnival or a retirement home for mad veterans? Why are we in this theatre and why are the rich folk laughing. Is something funny?

You slide into a choir of Jack-the-Lads, get jostled by their bonhomie before being set adrift on a glass sea. You float until thumped by a comedy boxing glove. Images crowd around you, people sail past on the green banks of a slow brown river, grinning like masks. It is heaven perhaps, but you doubt it. You are spiked on the stab of a chiming guitar – dit – dit – dit…Everyone is smiling sarcastically, the bass guitar huffs like a grumpy rag-and-bone man. There is a strong echo of vaudeville but it is overlaid with a savage modernism. Fuzz-tones, cockney warbling, somnambulant drumming and Victoriana. You get thrown from room to room – these people are schizophrenic, their songs face one another like brothers with a bone to pick. Sometimes you are carried away on funfair ride nigh-terrors then take flight and waltz in the breeze. Comedy collapses into far-out erotica. Do the little girls understand? Have they grown up and torn off their hair-bands?

There is a prevailing spirit of parody and knowingness – can you dig it? Autobiography gets disguised in cold-hearted kitchen-sink yarns distorted through an electric haze of paranoia.

The rotting cabaret returns, desperate and dismissive till everybody, you included, slips into a profound trough of introspection. You’re floating again but sinking too. You’re undulating. The drummer is sliding down steps as if etherized. You feel sleepy, the bass counts the passing moments, you are led into a dream. A new film cuts into the trance: flashback and coma. A brief section of stoned indifference returns but that bass is a warning. You are taken up into the celestial emptiness of your future before being hurled against the ground. You have seen the light and now you know that this is the end.