And about these songs
Track by Track
A compilation album concerning the English Seaside in all its glorious darkness, light-joy, and foreboding shade. The
title refers to Antony Gormley’s magnificent Another Place Metal Men installation in Crosby, which is name-checked in the final track.
1) Sandstorm (3.31)
Not about anything in particular,
though it includes autobiographical elements. Staying on a single ‘E’ chord on the chorus, which in this case simply lists a series of seaside resorts, is a trick I first used on Legal High back in 2002. The song began with my simple fondness for
the slightly unusual opening D – Bflat chord change. A slightly early Beatles feel to the verses, at least to my ears.
2) Where Did All the People Go? (5.26)
The first song written specifically for this
album, soon after completing Family Matters back in early 2019. I think it adequately captures the bleakness of many of our dying seaside towns.
3) Waiting for the Van (5.22)
Obviously a nod towards the Velvet
Underground, who are mentioned in the chorus. In my mind, the main character in this song is the same person as in the next. Both are songs of the lure of bright lights and drug addiction.
4) End of the Pier Show (3.57)
‘This Velvet Underground fan’ from the last track reaches the end of the road…
5) The Man From The Pier Preservation Society (2.27)
In my home town of Grimsby there is indeed a man who
holds this honorary position. This is my idealised song about him, set against a suitably sparse ukulele solo backing.
6) Reading a Memoir of Salinger on the Beach (6.03)
Joyce Maynard was a young High
School English Major of seventeen when she began to correspond with the by then highly reclusive J.D. in the early seventies. To her surprise he agreed to meet her, and the two ended up in a sexual relationship (the old dog). In 2002 I took the train to Blackpool
from Manchester and was reading her memoir of those days in the sun on the beach whilst drinking Special Brew and surreptitiously casting glances at two teenager girls rolling in the sand, dusting each other off, and clearly well aware that they were giving
me something of a sexual thrill in so doing. This is a song about that memorable hour or two.
7) Lost Time (3.12)
In 1990, all I need was a Sociology ‘A’ Level to be able to leave
Grimsby and study as a mature student in Manchester. I didn’t enjoy Sociology much at all, so was having trouble settling to revise. I decided to try the early morning outdoor method, setting off to Cleethorpes beach at 6.30 on a bright summer’s
morning. Predictably I didn’t spent much time actually studying and ended up talking to a local Cleethorpes Labour Party Stalinist who claimed to have fought in Spain. After that, I gave up and went home. I found it was eight hours later than it ought
to have been…one of my few paranormal experiences. Me in Eddie Cochran mode, musically speaking.
8) The Blind Were Never Meant to Gaze Upon Beauty (6.08)
Not all autobiographical, but very personal and
so I will say no more, except that it is presently in my personal top five self-penned songs.
9) Cleethorpes ’84 (2.55)
Two best friends, two female visitors from afar, and a magical day getting stoned
on Cleethorpes Beach. A companion piece to Liverpool ’84 and Grimsby ‘88
to the Sea (4.26)
Written in 2003 shortly after my move to Liverpool from Machester, and already twice recorded on my Last Days of Analogue and Digital in Liverpool compilations. I realised however that if I shortened it and made it into
a 4/4 song rather its original ¾, I could produce something shorter, faster and much rockier. It’s about returning to the close proximity of water, a recently broken relationship, and a soon to be broken relationship.
Scatter My Ashes (2.25)
‘Scatter My Ashes/In Another Place.’ All pretty self explanatory really.
And that’s it. Along with my last proper album, Family Matters,
not counting the acoustic compilation, my best album so far, IMHO. More lead guitar that is normal for me, no keyboards and no extra percussion, thus less clutter. I wonder what I will do next? Expect another album towards the end of the year, perhaps another
acoustic set, maybe a public domain covers album. I plan to publish a novel and a novella before I write any more songs though, unless I have a burning need to say something new lyrically and musically. That should keep the fans happy.