To Pocklington

I wake up in the dark cocoon of my 70s hotel and draw back the vinyl shades to reveal a net curtain filtering the view like Vaseline on a lens. But I’d opened the nets last night. It’s mist and drizzle, the world’s awash with fuzzy humidity. It’s cool now, I close the window. I perform ablutions and tidy up, pack. With the black remote I taser through the cheap daytime channels, snagging on an old British Bake Off. I watch the sinister presenters prod and chew various breads like medieval kings before a banquet. I fantasise cutting Hollywood and Berry in half with a Gatling gun.

We drive through low-lying, nondescript country drenched in a fog of rain. Brake lights blink ahead and we caterpillar up to a queue. We pass a pig farm, a stately home and an enormous pink monument celebrating John Noakes. The place names are full…—More Tales

To Holmfirth

The lid of doom is clamped on the country and a porridge of grey prevails. Summer’s over, boys or maybe just commenced. The air has cooled a little and weaves about more turbulently. The heart sinks a notch – will we ever see sunshine again?

We track down to Engerland, the verges bursting with blossoms and rampant bushery. Everything looks sordid in the flattened light, the greens darkling like a murderer’s eyes before the act. We doze and read and eat Haribo, do the occasional line of coke off the dashboard. At a Moto I buy the-most-expensive-cup-of-tea-ever-served at an outdoor kiosk. I sling in some UHT “milk” and neck it in a single gulp, repulsed, angry and broke. I am that bitter old man you want to avoid. Small slights make me incensed, major injuries mildly riled.

We pick up our front-of-house operator at another motorway clip-joint, finding him loitering with his…—More Tales

—Man looking up, yesterday

To Perth



Oh, shit – the sun is shining, shining down on all of bonny green Scotland. What does this portend? We load up in the the lane, box upon box, case upon case. Amps at the bottom, stringed instruments atop. We will travel in a thing called a “splitter”, the front cabin containing the humans, the rear the gear. There is a schism already.

We meet a fair-weather tailback on the motorway beyond Stirling’s pretty vista, its castle and monuments sitting perkily erect on the glacial plain. The lowlands are in fresh full leaf and all the managed, manicured greenery flutters and glints in the luxury of the brilliant light. We experienced Scots know not to mistake this lovely weather for the start of summer. Summer never starts in Scotland, it just vacillates wildly between spring and autumn and occasionally lights up like a furnace causing universal astonishment.

The people of Perth…—More Tales

—A tramp, yesterday

Crybabies (Shot and edited by Jamie Vincent Gillespie)—More Motion-sickness

My Soul Is Stolen

Silence in the house
Balanced on the balcony
Just a breath of wind could
Set it all tumbling free

Look into my throat
Whoever’s singing isn’t me
Cos I’m a prisoner of
Who all you listeners might be

Cos my soul is stolen
Taken in my shallow youth
And I’d love you all to look but
Hate if you mistook it for truth
My soul is stolen
I took it from a girl I knew
And I covered it with trinkets
So that maybe you would think it was you

Silence in the house
Wherever can I be
I’m on the rooftop calling
As all your souls are falling
Like rain into the heart of me

—More Sword

Two People

I am two people, two people, two
And if I knew people I might know who is who
And you are good people so people say, it must be true
But if I’m two people can both be good people too?

I am two people, one is warm and one is cold
I am two people, one’s mild one’s wild beyond control
Wish I could tell people who to hit and who to hold
And of these two people who this is now, I don’t know

And out across the fire escape the ragged rascal goes
Leaving you to contemplate just who it is you chose
Is he the one you love, that fugitive above
Or is it me who waits behind the door holding out a hammer like a rose?

I am two people, two people, two
Go out and ask people and they’ll tell you that is true
And I don’t like people and I don’t like what people do
So of these…—More Sword

I’ll Leave It To You

Hey, it’s alright, the world is turning still
There’s centuries of light
More time than you can kill
And everything I’ve left or left wanting to do
I’ll leave it to you

Pack it in a box, drive away from me
Some letters and a watch
The treasures of the sea
I put it all in a list, a million things to do
I’ll leave it to you

Straightening that picture
Tightening that screw
Setting light to all that shit
The world has put us through
I’ll leave it to you

Hey, it’s alright, I’m happy
I’ve lived this luscious life
So gay and free
A lifetime without kids, what’re you gonna do?
I’ll leave it to you—More Sword

I Love The Sea

The sea, the sea, I can see the sea
Shining from your eyes as he
Haunts every fathom he can reach
Hauling the pebbles from your beach

The sea, the sea, whispers tauntingly
Come on in to the hell of me
Swarming like an army through the world
Spewing up the rocks that we once hurled

Into the sea, invading so gently
Filling us with grief and loss
Squeezing our skins until we shrink
Lost in the desert of the drink

I love the sea but the sea don’t love nobody
It just swallows every swimmer it can see

The sea, the sea, it will always be
Dreaming of the death of me
Swelling like a flower in my heart
Slowly tearing evidence of shipwrecks apart
I love the sea

 —More Sword

Hey Polly

Hey Polly, are you coming to the show?
There’s a band on that I know I think you’ll love
They have got a song that goes
“I’m a wolf in kitten’s clothes”
And hey Polly, there’s something you should know

Last summer when we were lying on the bed
All the things we should’ve said I’ll say today
Half a girl and half a boy
With a whole world to enjoy
Hey Polly – it’s so stupid we’re afraid

Cos I’m not who you think I am
I’m a loose bitch passing as a straight-laced man

You’re not who you say you are
You’re a butch prick suffocating a big gay star

Hey Polly, are you coming to the show?
There’s a band on that I know I think you’ll love
Cos I love the song that goes
“I’m a wolf in kitten’s clothes”
Hey Polly, it’s so stupid we’re afraid
So hey Polly, get your claws round here today—More Sword

Abandoned Sons

Turn off the light leave it alone
It’s gonna die before it is born
Leave it to cry, let it get by on its own
You set it alight so your fight is done

I didn’t know you could blow the life out of something
That you set the spark in

Pity the string under your bow
sawing so hard that it starts to glow
Put it away, get on with your day and your night
Strain and the prey evades your sight

Cos I didn’t know you could blow the life out of something
That you set the spark in

And that’s the advice that he gave me twice
At least that’s the excuse that I always use

So put it away, leave it alone
Pick over the pain and it’ll never be gone
stand on your feet so you show you’re a man
Try to pretend that he’s done all he can

Cos you didn’t know he could blow the life out of something
That he set…—More Sword

The Dead Sea

When you go baby, I don’t know
Whether to be glad or whether to be sad
When I’m alone I am free
When I am free, baby I’m alone

So you don’t know how to be around me
Cos around me is the dead sea

So you try to find my island
Well baby I don’t even know where I am
Nothing lives in this place
No lover’s breath across my face

So you don’t know how to be around me
Cos around me is the dead sea

The dead sea protects me
From sinking in that feeling
Left by your leaving

So when you go I just float
Out in the brine with the flotsam of what’s mine
You can shout but I can’t hear
No living thing’s ever getting near

So you don’t know how to be around me
Cos around me is the dead sea

—More Sword

Failing To See

Am I cruel because I know you forgive?
Do you hurt me just cos you know that I’ll live?
Is this what falling in love was aiming to be?
Being in love and failing to see
The failings of you and me

I don’t count the wounds sustained
I don’t recognise the picture that you paint
Is this what falling in love was aiming to be?
Being in love and failing to see
The failings of you and me

Failing to see the future
Where one of us must be without the other

You can cry, babe you can scream
Blacken an eye and I’ll take one for the team
Cos baby falling in love was aiming to be
Being in love and failing to see
The failings of you and me
Failing to see…

—More Sword


I don’t care about anybody else
But me, I’m a liar
As I look at you I’m trying to be cool
Like I ain’t a crier
And Daddy it ain’t no use
I’m as hopeless an opener as you
We keep to the public roads
So we don’t find ourselves lost again in that country
Where the crybabies go

And I don’t care about anybody else
But you, I admire
If you pick up the stick and tap the time
I’ll be in your choir
But Daddy I ain’t no good
When I sing it’s like my heart is made of wood
I keep to what I know
So I don’t find myself somewhere deep in that country
Where the crybabies go

And I’ll be a crybaby someday
When you’re not there to follow

So I don’t care about anybody else
Cos I, I’m tired
Of watching you struggle with yourself
Behind the wire
And Daddy I can’t break in
You’re on your own inside the castle of your skin
I’m driving through the snow
Trying to…—More Sword

Sydney Harbour Bridge

I’m always dreaming, I’m never in the moment at all
I guess I’m waiting for the veil across Australia to fall
And then I sink into the seabed of my mind
Where the fishes swim the muddy depths of time
And I feel that little give when I think of you
And Sydney Harbour Bridge sinks a little too

I could be driving, stupefied and deadened by the night
When you surprise me, rolling up and looking for a light
And then I sink into the river of my bed
And I float down through the faces of the dead
And I feel that little give when I get to you
And Sydney Harbour Bridge sinks a little too

Sure I know everybody says I treated you with carelessness
But from my side of the bridge there’s nothing I can do

And when I’m soaking wet under the Caledonian rain
I find I’m floating back into that swimming pool again
And then I sink a little…—More Sword

This Is My Kingdom Now

Guess I got lucky that God didn’t take me away
I’m ministered to by flunkies and baptised every day
But I think I’ve got it figured, I’ve fallen into hell somehow
So tell those vacant visitors
That this is my kingdom now

They line the hallways, a colonnade of bones
I pull their strings sideways and wheel them about in their thrones
And I know this can’t be paradise – that much the angels will allow
So tell those shuffling shadows
That this is my kingdom now

I was sure that I could hear applause and that I should take a bow
But no one seems to care in here
That this is my kingdom now

Guess I got lucky that God didn’t take me away
I motion like a monkey and hope somebody sees me today
And the peasants from the village they have brought their horse and plough
So I turn my face to the radio and say
This is my kingdom now
And my daughter…—More Sword

Fallen Trees

I was alone and trawling through the valley for peace
When there, through the teardrops hanging in the doorway, I freeze
My kind of people, already leaning into one another
Like fallen trees

Why am I always drawn to the trough on my knees?
Broken in a way that none of us can fathom or ease
My kind of people, lying around in the wreckage of the laughter
Like fallen trees

And nothing’s gonna change the way we deal
With the ruins of our feelings by pushing on the ceiling

So as I collapse into another huddle, I see
That no one is holding any other brother but me
My kind of people, they can take the weight of any other
Like fallen trees—More Sword

My Name Is God

I’ve walked mountains high, I’ve torn across the sky
Taken life from the sun, yeah, I don’t need anyone
I don’t need anyone

And I have a goddess led into the marriage bed
Made her a fool for fun: ‘cos I don’t need anyone
I don’t need anyone

And I don’t need you my dears
I don’t need the hurting here
The murdering atmosphere –
My whole career undone
So, I don’t need anyone

And I walk mountains high, tear light from the sky
Breathe life into your lung –but I don’t need anyone

So go on the human heart, go on through the dark
Through the dead generation that don’t need anyone
They don’t need anyone
They don’t need anyone—More Sword

—A poseur, yesterday


With the encroaching cynicism of middle age, episodes of excitement become increasingly rare. Perhaps a trip to some unvisited country raises the heart-rate a little but the unearned sense that you’ve seen-it-done-it lends every novelty a suspicious odour of staleness. Perhaps the arrival of grandchildren kickstarts some enthusiasm and shock and grief will cause ructions in the millpond of mild surprise but on the whole, you greet life with a shrug. Governments come and go and you whine weakly at their various crimes.

It comes with a jolt then to find yourself excited by anything, but releasing an album remains one of those things. You spend years pondering and collating, writing and recording all to the ultimate end of letting something out, freeing something and in turn being freed from it. So the actual day of its public exposure remains supremely important and there is no other word for the emotion…—More Tales

—Man falling, yesterday.

This Is My Kingdom Now out today on all capitalist tech outfits

This masterpiece of meh can be retrieved from here in physical form:

And here in bits:

And from the tax dodging employee exploiters here:—More Tales

Tour with The Pallbearers announced for October/ November!!!!!!!

Tickets on sale 9:00am on Monday 15th May


See Parades for details.—More Tales