About the songs

About the songs

Godhopping

About six months or so before doing a single’s deal with Radiate Records, someone in the industry asked me for a CD of 20 of our strongest songs. I reluctantly put Godhopping as the last track. The original version used the popular english language nursery rhyme “One, Two, Buckle my shoe” for the chorus and contained a few more verses. Despite all the comparisons to so many other bands that journalists made of us, to my knowledge they never compared us to the band, Squeeze, whose song “Pulling mussles from a shell” I took more from than any other piece music, using sections from it for both Godhopping and Lounger. For Godhopping I stole the bridge, although I think I learnt it wrong. CM



Lounger

The original demo of this song had a 30 second intro of a slowly fading out ringing telephone. Musically, the main inspiration behind it is the feel of the song “I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass”, by Nick Lowe. I loved the piano tinkering.  Like Godhopping, it also steals from the song “Pulling mussles from a shell” by Squeeze. I liked the way that song dropped down with the instruments playing staccato at the end of the chorus when it says “Pulling mussles from a shell”. I copied that for the end of Lounger’s chorus, when I say “I can lounge about in my house because lounging about is good”. CM



I Love You ‘Cause I Have To

I wrote this tune about five years before the album was released, in about 30 minutes as a distraction from another song I was writing called “Fat Boy”. CM

Celebrity Sanctum

This song was often discussed as being a single. Problem was that it was supposedly too long to be one so needed recut. We did a few versions, one with Andy Green which cut the verses in half and had a few extra instrumental ditties which sounded great, but the cutting made the overall feel seem pushed. So it never ended up being one. At the end of the year, Q magazine had a list of the year’s top 100 songs that should have been singles but weren’t, number one was a Red Hot Chili Peppers song and number two was Celebrity Sanctum. On the subject of The Chili’s – At its base, like quite a few other tunes I’ve written, the song is inspired by the feel of John Frusciante’s (Chili’s Guitarist) music and the way he uses his voice. Notably songs from his album “To record only water for ten days”. CM



Somewhat Off The Way

Contention stirred with this song. Gary came up with the guitar part first and we recorded it, then I went away and wrote the words. The both of us were really happy with it but Lee and Laurence really weren’t. They were wrong.  At the time it was written we had been living in Glasgow for about two years and had gone wayyyy off our intented path (this, by the by, was before Ruth joined);  we had moved to Glasgow from Fife to focus on taking the band further – thing was though that we ended up getting shitty jobs to pay the rent n’ that and other things took over like shit work nights out and Tony Hawks Pro Skater and Shemnue and two years later and we had done absolutely nothing with the band.  So I wrote the lyrics about that. I actually think the song was a catalyst for us getting our act together – shortly after that I got myself sacked and not long after that I managed to convince the other guys it was a good thing to do. CM


Apples and Oranges

This song comes from a night at the pub with Lee Worrall (Bass), my father and his partner.  At some point we started ranting about art and how people define and apply value to it, as you do. And on the subject, my dad’s partner mentioned the idiom “It’s Apples and Oranges”. I liked that. I nicked it and wrote a song about the subject.  Musically,  its thievery is clear – the initial inspiration comes from the feeling I got from the song “What a day that was” from the album “The Catherine Wheel” by David Byrne, although more like the Talking Heads version. I liked the way it builds. The polyrhythmic feel, brass and marimba was inspired by things by Philip Glass and Steve Reich. CM

Modern Woman

Although the song was based on a rough idea Gary and I had come up with a few months earlier, the main bulk of it was written whilst we were recording the album. The title is actually wrong and I don’t know why. It is supposed to be “Modern Woman’s Modern Man”.  Although maybe the mistake makes it more interesting. At the time David Beckham was wearing skirts, and as much as he looked good in them I began to ask, where was all this being-in-touch-with-our-feminist-side-m’larky taking us – I liked characters played by the likes of Paul Newman and Marlon Brando. Good men who get angry. This song is about that kind of thing. CM


Paul Newman’s Eyes

Paul Newman’s Eyes came together very very easily in the rehearsal rooms.  I think it hit a chord with everyone; clean rhythms with interesting changes, familiar yet stand apart chord progressions for each section, an instrumental break, nice harmonies and backing vocals. Or maybe it was just because everyone liked it. The circusesque instrumental part was written and put together by Ruth during the album’s recording one morning when we were working on the track. Some thought it was a bit too much, including myself, but I thought that was perfect.  The lyrical theme is pretty straight forward – wants, desires, what we have, what our neighbours have, how lucky we are that we’re not war victims like some people in the world, should that make me feel better feeling better knowing I’m not a war victim like other people in the world? isn’t suffering for lack of a car the same as suffering for lack of a family? relatively speaking that is. CM


Pastimes and Lifestyles

Originally titled “Big City Takeover”, after a song by John Frusciante. I wasn’t too happy with the lyrics and so at the last minute changed them when we were in the studio recording it as part of our Man Bites Man EP.  It was mostly done using the Cut-up technique – taking random texts and headlines out of the newspaper, messing them up and putting them back together again. I remember watching the live news coverage of the ‘toppling’ of the statue of Saddam Hussain whilst doing it. CM


Glimpse At The Good Life

This is a reworking of a song originally written by Gary called “Eighties”, which in many ways is the better version, although, it doesn’t feature the wild guitar wanking that we got our assistant engineer guitarist virtuoso, Dan T. to record in the middle eight section. CM



Eighties (The song before it turned into Glimpse At The Good Life)

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