I Before E (3:06): The song that Mickey
was trying to be. “About a girl whose name was spelt in this way.”
(I have to wring this out of my soul, you know...) The big single,
beat your friends to it etc. etc. I can see the day when we’ll refuse
to play it.
Breakfast In Bed (4:34): Ah, the one only the
band members like. The ending may be a bit over the top, but I’m
awfully proud of the second half of the chorus. “About girls, and
summer, and Orange Juice...”
Refuge In The Sun (3:20): OK, OK, maybe it
does sound a bit like All My Loving. Elizabeth Rapagna used to sing
with us: a nice girl, but just a wee bit incompatible with the rest of
the group. Her words are pretty self-explanatory (unlike mine, which
can only be explained by myself). My finest guitar solo. (“Steve
Lamont is God”, anyone?)
Red Capital Letters (3:46):
“About another girl.” Words are a bit of a mouthful, but it was my
first big lyrical breakthrough. Not to mention my very first hook.
Great title, huh? “Always a solid indicator of when a band’s really
burning” – Dave McCullough.
October (3:59): The big live funk-out.
Ken wrote the words about Québec’s October Crisis of 1970 when the
FLQ kidnapped two... Look, it was in all the papers. Not, we stress
about Northern Ireland. About 3’59”, to be exact.
Michael (4:07): No, not about a girl called
Michael. Or even a boy called Michael. My theme song for 1982.
And probably every year from now on. Took me long enough.
Chivalry (4:22): Lyrics made to deadline and
it shows. Very dodgy views about love & lust, now getting harder
to distinguish as I leave puberty. But a monumental riff and allis
redeemed by “There are girls that I saw in films”. (Whoever whispered
“Duran Duran” at the back there, wash your mouth out with soap.)
Arriving At The Bridge (4:33): Originally about
a drumstick, made slightly more general in application. Covers everything
from Fall members to nuclear war. The break is my tribute to the
late, lamented Edinburgh band Josef K.
City Of Tears (6:38): The epic. Just
never could cut out a verse. Very superior type of tirade against
unfeeling people (alright, “about another girl”). But we’re all a
bit of both victim and Übermensch, aren’t we?
Watching (1:59): Sorry about the harp; couldn’t
resist it. The first song Ken and I ever wrote together and by far
the tightest. His lyrics once again are perfectly self-explanatory
Summertime (5:08): Newest of the new.
The same girl as City... Has a look-in here, but it’s more a present-state-of-mind
thang. I guess this shows maturity and all that, but I’m still obviously
a sucker for the big chorus hook, ain’t I?
Acute Myopia (3:56): Colin writes better than
a drummer should, though his open chord folky style isn’t quite up my street.
This one has a lot going for it (though the bitchy lyrics aren’t really
Henna Fire (4:52): Slow and oozy; I like it
but it doesn’t make it into our 35-minute set.
Swinging (4:33): Real Kafkaesque dignity-in-struggle
stuff. Music not so hot, slow and melodic.
Post-Modern Love (4:26)
City Of Tears [1985 re-recording]
(4:41): cut out a verse after all, didn't you, you hypocritical
bastard? – Ian S.
I Before E [JTB version] (2:56)
Summertime [JTB version] (4:37)