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CD Live at the Chapel 2005


 
Click on a track title to see lyrics & notes further down the page.
the circle of your arms

no regrets

Boxcar City

someone else's child

Conway Bridge

slo mo

shooting stars

blue-sky science
  9  queen of broken things

10  the Garden of Eden

11  ivory tower

12  landing

13  an American dream

14  getting going, getting gone

15  birthday surprise

16  moving to Berlin
All songs by Hugh Featherstone

You can order this CD

at blutopia.networks

www.blutopia.net
Hugh Featherstone and A Panel of Experts "Live at the Chapel"
Released December 2005

Recorded live on Saturday 24th September 2005, before an invited audience at La Chapelle studios in Waimes, Belgium.

The concert set included several brand new Featherstone songs, as well as a few old favourites. One of the musical highlights of the evening was the airing of the catchy new number "Moving to Berlin".

The recording was engineered and mixed by Flavio Marredda at La Chapelle

and mastered by Frank-Stefan Kimmel at While Others Sleep.

All guitars used on the recording were built by Walter Kraushaar.

All text in this rather fetching blue-green by Hugh Featherstone.

CD inlay notes by Hugh:

Asked recently to describe our music, I found myself explaining how the changes my band has been through in the last few years, the painful and the positive, have affected the character of the Sound and our whole approach to the songs.

Listening to certain tracks here - the carefree abandon, the risks taken, a rather cavalier approach to tempo and other social niceties of musicianship - confirms that, despite the restraints of a live recording, we've moved out of the industrial groove of the last decade into something a whole lot spikier. A good description of our style now might be "pop sensibility with a punk attitude". The band's name: "a Panel of Experts" - quietly rational, professionally cool - couldn't be more ironic.

Of the sixteen songs in this collection, five have appeared previously in studio versions on various CDs, while others are tagged for future studio albums. However, they are all in our current stage repertoire and represent us in 2005/2006 better than anything else. Since our aim here is to provide our live audiences with something close to what they've just heard, as well as to attract new friends, we hope these tracks will please you all.

A glance at that liner photo of a play-list taped to Christian's conga Shows that some stuff didn't make the cut. Sorry we can't please everybody. This selection represents the best of a beautiful evening spent in good company, and my thanks go out to everyone: those who were present, those who were absent and those who made it possible.


Read the article Live at the Chapel - the making of below.

See photos of Hugh Featherstone & a Panel of Experts performing live at the chapel on the photos page.




"Live at the Chapel" CD cover
design by PhilBY at nemodreaming.com
 
Hugh reflects on the making of the CD:

For this, my first release since “Landing” in 2001, I decided to try something new: taking my live band into a studio with a large sound stage and setting up as if for a small club gig, then inviting an audience of “partisans” along for the evening. This seemed like a pretty low-risk strategy at the time, a good way to give birth to a live album supported by the best available studio technology and ideal acoustics.

Reality was different, however. Since my record company had their own guest list as well, and since a performing arts academy is housed in the building next door, half the people there had never heard a Hugh Featherstone song, so it was not quite the home game we’d awaited. And instead of the typical live recording set-up, with some friend of the drummer’s huddled over a deck in the corner taking a feed off the mixer, we faced a battery of fat valve microphones and the big window of the production lounge about a thousand miles away at the back of the hall. Behind this glazed barrier, probably bulletproof, white-coated sound boffins moved purposefully in a soft, scientific glow. It was exactly what we’d asked for, of course, but we were all, understandably, a bit nervous, even the audience, something I deliberately play up to on the intro to “Shooting Stars”.

No, there’s nothing quite like “live” for winding up the learning curve, and even while we were playing I was thinking of things to do differently if there were ever a next time. But all in all, we’re pretty proud of the results. The audience were very kind to us. The studio surroundings quickly became less daunting. By the time we reached the middle of the show, the place had turned into our living room. Doing the mix with Flavio during the days that followed was both a joy and a challenge. We mostly left the sound alone, no steroids and hardly any effects. Thus the final CD has an authentic club feeling about it: a bright, compact yet easy-going character that typifies our stage sound. Of course, like any live recording, what you play is basically what you get, and all our strengths and weaknesses are exposed here to general approval or opprobrium. May we expect more of the former than the latter? I believe so.

Hugh Featherstone, 12th December, 2005
 


Hugh Featherstone
vocals, guitars



Philby
drums



Christoph Mattar
bass



Christian Sichert
percussion



Kim Bastian
vocals & shakers



Frank-Stefan Kimmel
producer



Flavio Marredda
engineer
back to discography to top of page www.featherstone.co.nr website design Ursa Major
Live at the Chapel - the making of

an eyewitness report by our special correspondent Gobo
Hugh is and always has been terrific live. Whether playing solo or with other musicians, a live Featherstone performance is, without exception, a treat: the music, the songs, the atmosphere, the roar of the feedback, the smell of the crowd, the missing of the last bus home... all add up to a memorable experience.

Why then have we had to wait so long for a live album?

There have been recordings made of his concerts, both official and unofficial (yes there are Featherstone bootlegs out there). The two outstanding recordings are of his band Pierre le Suit at Reading University, and with Best Foot and Ed Povey at the Theatre Gwynedd in Wales. Another, very lo-fi recording captured a Red Shift gig one wintry evening in Erfurt, east Germany. Perhaps one day all the material will be collected and released as a limited edition collectors' album. You wish.

But don't hold your breath. Hugh has always been more concerned with moving forward, writing and honing new material, and above all getting it right. What a perfectionist. He is careful to present his songs and music, as well as the performances of his collaborators at their best. This can usually only be done effectively in the studio.


Hugh Featherstone & a Panel of Experts
As with the making of a film, recording a song can require many takes and some judicious editing and mixing. Studio time is notoriously expensive, so it's no accident that Hugh's musicians are well prepared beforehand. Usually they have rehearsed and performed songs many times before they even smell a studio. And still they manage to pull out new twists and subtleties from a piece of music on the day, and can polish off tracks suprisingly swiftly, without fuss, bother or ego tantrums.

(Having said that... it has been known for Hugh to write a brand new song just days before a recording session and surprise his musicians. This was also the case at the La Chapelle gig, were two of the songs- "Box-Car City" and "Moving to Berlin" - where still hot off the biro as the band went on stage.)

Recording music live is a risky business. Once the tape is rolling, anything can happen. Apart from the acoustics of the hall, the postioning of microphones, the relative volume and timbre of each instrument and voice, the worry that each band member is on form (you're not coming down with anthrax again, are you?), that a guitar string may break, that something will go horribly wrong... there's also the audience. Will they also be on form? Are they even awake? If so, they'll probably spend much of their time coughing, sneezing, talking amongst themselves, encouraging their children to scream and cry, clinking glasses, rustling sweet packets, cursing their ringing cell phones, scraping chairs, drilling for oil and even singing along - when it's not even the chorus.

This can all result in an excellent, atmospheric recording; really, really live. But it can also result in a disaster; a really, really expensive cacophany.

Looks like it finally came time for Hugh to bite the bullet and record a live album, so it speaks volumes for his absolute confidence in his new band Hugh Featherstone and a Panel of Experts that he felt ready to do it with them. He knew they could just climb onto a stage and let it roll. And it did.

It helped that La Chapelle studios has been set up just for this kind of gig. The large, well equipped hall is a former chapel on the edge of the village of Waimes, set among the rolling hills of Belgium's Ardennes region. Outside it's picturesque, inside it's down to business.

The band arrived the day before the concert, set their instruments and equipment up in a jiffy and got to work in a business-like manner. Immediately you could see that this was a professional combo at work; on the button, on the beat, on the plot. A veritable panel of experts indeed.

Late into the evening our intrepid musonauts cut through the technical rehearsal like an F-string through Belgian butter. Hugh's producer Frank-Stefan Kimmel and La Chapelle's resident sound engineer Flavio Marredda busied themselves with the exact positioning of a forest of expensive, specialized microphones and twiddling the knobs of various amplifiers, monitors, mixers, doodas and thingies and checking the sound of the band both in the hall and in the control room. For the technically minded, none of the amplifiers go up to 11 - nearly but not quite.

The control room itself looked like something between a NASA mission control room and a log cabin. The wood panelled booth at the back of the hall is dominated by an enormous mixing desk surrounded by various computer monitors and towers of electronic amplifiers, filters, whatchamacallits and other mysterious devices, all hooked up to computer servers which hum hotly to themselves in the chapel's basement. (There is even a small TV studio down there, but that's another story.) This is the lair of the tech-wizard, this is the sanctum sanctorum of the prestidigitalist, this is Knobby Turner and Mike Stand's idea of paradise on earth.

At the end of a hard day's work the band retired to the large, well-appointed house laid on by the studio in the nearby village of Schoppen. Here they nursed their blisters and gathered their strength for the challenges of the following day. Nice day at the office, dear?

And the next day was a triumph. It was all one has come to expect of an evening with Hugh Featherstone and then some. Great music, lovely audience (we'd like to take you home with us), good vibes, and even the sandwiches afterward (hats off to the catering team) were top notch nosh.

The studio supremo, Karl Heinz got the evening going by welcoming the audience and introducing the band. A warm, friendly and funny guy.

Hugh then played warm-up man by performing solo the tender, simple, love song "The Circle of your Arms" (first recorded on his "West of Eden" CD), before the rest of the band came on stage and let rip.

Splendid, high-flying, spot-on performances from all throughout. Philby's crisp, precise drumming was augmented by Chris Sichert's rich and sutble percussion (he had a whole arsenal of gizmos back there which went bang, thunk, kachunk, rattle and ching), not forgetting Kim Bastian's shaker. The shaker performs the same function as the tambourine, providing a singer with some rhythmic device and giving at least one of her hands something to do while she's ululating. Kim's shaker looks dead chic and it's far more refined than a tambourine: you can't slap it against your thigh they way those raunchy rock chics do. Chris Mattar's sleek Ibanez bass alternately pulsed, throbbed and purred as luxuriously as a well-tempered motor.

Out front, Hugh had his artillery to hand in the shape of three exquisite hand-made Kraushaar guitars from which he extorted rangy twang, honeyed sweetness and edgy taughtness. Not all at the same time, you understand, only when it was right. Which it was.

Kim Bastian's voice was the surprise of the evening. It's gentle and sweet, perhaps more jazz than rock'n'roll, and her backing and harmonies proved the perfect counterpoint to Hugh's more hard-edged, sometimes staccato delivery, especially on the reggae number "no regrets" and the LA-tinged rocker "boxcar city", where her Twilight Zone la-las had just the right twisted eeriness. A touch of comic genius delivered deadpan. The driving backbeat and Chris Sichert's quirky cowbell also makes this song an up-beat dancer. One to trash the couch to.

As ever the emotional charge of Hugh's songs ranges widely from tristesse through schadenfreude to put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it. You get lost love, wild desire, cosmic weariness, what-the-hell-is-going-on-here, let's-party and much more. He has carefully picked a set of songs to the which the band could bring extra aural dimensions and which could challenge each member to shine. We're talking gleaming chrome and burnished gold here, folks.

Between songs, Hugh kept everybody entertained with his own seasoned brand of witty banter and snippets of info about the next number, as the band retuned their synapses and backroom boffins Frank-Stefan and Flavio adjusted their adjustments.

Well, the audience went wild, the wrap party drinks and sandwiches went west and eventually everybody went home, somehow happier, wiser and more full of smoked salmon than before.

It was a great evening and a great late-summer weekend. The band had an album in the bag. Job well done. On the Sunday some of the tracks received a preliminary mix before the whole shebang was handed over to Frank-Stefan to prepare for mastering. And that was that.

Frank-Stefan said, "the winegums were great". And you know, I think he was right.

Photos of Hugh Featherstone & a Panel of Experts live at the chapel are on the photos page.




Hugh Featherstone
vocals, guitars



Philby
drums



Christoph Mattar
bass



Christian Sichert
percussion



Kim Bastian
vocals & shakers



Frank-Stefan
Kimmel
producer



Flavio Marredda
engineer
back to discography to top of page www.featherstone.co.nr website design Ursa Major
CD Live at the Chapel 2005


 
Click on a track title to see the lyrics & notes below.
the circle of your arms

no regrets

Boxcar City

someone else's child

Conway Bridge

slo mo

shooting stars

blue-sky science
  9  queen of broken things

10  the Garden of Eden

11  ivory tower

12  landing

13  an American dream

14  getting going, getting gone

15  birthday surprise

16  moving to Berlin
All songs by Hugh Featherstone

You can order this CD

at blutopia.networks

www.blutopia.net

lyrics and notes

Hugh Featherstone & a Panel of Experts "Live at the Chapel"

More info about this CD at the top of this page

All Hugh's CD album sleeves contain the lyrics published here, so the best way
to enjoy them is to read as you listen. But for those of you who can't wait, here they are.

All text in this rather fetching blue-green by Hugh Featherstone.
I've dated the songs here according to when they were actually written, rather than when they were first recorded. Some go back to the 80s, many to the 90s. Of the recent crop, "Box-Car City" and "Moving to Berlin" are the freshest, having been written only a few days before we went on stage.

While typing in the lyrics, I found that my spell-checker would recognize Bogart, but not Bacall, Bergman but not Garbo, that the first man in space suffers from having been Russian and that even Warhol can't get his fifteen minutes in Redmond. Such is the fickleness of fame.


Hugh
Live at the Chapel the circle of your arms track 1

1993

A studio version of this song appears on West of Eden CD.

This Song first appeared an "West of Eden" back in the early 90s.
Since then I've been using it as an opener, both for my solo and band gigs.
It seems to set the frame for me.

Is this little song from "West of Eden" intended as sensuality or allegory?


Life is hard
and the leaving is harder still
no one escapes
you can die with your hand in the till

Saints and angels
doing their best I guess
they've all got their niche
I found mine in the folds of your dress

And all the protection life can offer
the only known shelter from harm
is here within the circle of your arms
is here within the circle
of your arms
Live at the Chapel no regrets track 2

1998

Originally written as a Travis-picking number for my acoustic trio The Tone Poets.
Though written about the unfortunate dissolution of a friend's marriage, this sounds
quite optimistic since we started playing it in a kind of neo-Cajun, smell-the-coffee style.


A friend asked me the other day
"Should I walk or should I stay?
I've put a lot into this thing
But it's moved beyond restructuring
No regrets, no regrets this time

You ask me if there's someone else
It's a question that I ask myself
But really, if the truth be known
Garbo wants to be alone
No regrets, no regrets this time

Well, I believe that a good thing is always worth saving
And I believe in the sanctity of home
Yes, I believe in family, but I'm not going to let it swallow me
There'll be no regrets, no regrets this time

I've done my best to make it work
Never been the one to shirk
Never did like to complain
But I won't be round this way again
No regrets, no regrets this time

You're asking me about the kids
Hey, would I put them on the skids?
I think by now they've learned enough
Long on lectures, short on love
No regrets, no regrets this time

I believe that the future will be brighter
I believe that the truth will set us free
I believe that God on high wants more than a dubious alibi
There'll be no regrets, no regrets this time

I believe that a good thing is always worth saving
I believe in the sanctity of home
I believe in family, but I'm not going to let it swallow me
There'll be no regrets, no regrets this time”.
Live at the Chapel Boxcar City track 3

2005

Hugh reprised this song appears on his 2008 solo album Friendly Skies.

A song that has its roots in a picture I once saw of a community of
people happily living temporary lives in disused freight cars somewhere
in the southern United States.
No I do not have Wynona's number, so don't ask. And even if I had ...


Ain’t nobody here greener than me
I ride a recycled cycle and I live in a tree
I got a weather balloon to track the n-ozone zone
And I commune with Mother Nature on my solar phone
But I’d give it up, give it up, I mean it I do
To live in Box-Car City with you

Ain’t nobody here richer than I
I’d already left the jet set when the others learned to fly
I got my own private island with a heli-pad
I don’t have to sell my mama. I already sold my dad
But I’d give it up, give it up, I mean it I do
To live in Box-Car City with you

Ain’t nobody here more cultured than me
I call Virginia Woolf “Ginny”. I had Warhol for tea
I was hip with Yoko Ono long before she met John
I sleep to atonal music with my oxygen on
I’ve lived in Rome and Barcelona; it was there I met Wynona
Though I only took her number so she knows I never phone her
All the people they call famous I don’t give a second look
I don’t have to see the movie; it was me that wrote the book!
But I’d give it up, give it up, I mean it I do
To live in Box-Car City with you
Live at the Chapel someone else's child track 4

1982

Studio versions of this song appear on me & miss wray, Landing & "the black tape".

This is the fourth version to be released of a song that keeps mutating, rather like
its subject matter ~ genetic detection ~ each time we play it.


Awake on your own
You walk across the lawn
You could almost feel you belong here
Up against the dawn, but it's
Someone else's, someone else's home

Messages descend
You know you can't pretend
Love is not the kind of thing to borrow or lend
When it's someone else's, someone else's friend
Someone else's friend

Such a tiny smile, you held it for a while
Raised it up through tears and laughter
To join the rank and file
Now it's someone else's, someone else's child
Someone else's child

Awake on your own
You walk across the lawn
You could almost feel you belong here
Up against the dawn, but it's
Someone else's, someone else's home
Someone else's home
Live at the Chapel Conway Bridge track 5

1999

First recorded on my old Washburn twin-6 baritone for me & miss wray.

I cherish this one for the memories it revives of travelling with my guitar
by whimsically timetabled public transport around Wales.


Conway Bridge in the evening
I ride a northbound train
Headed out again
Without you

Got my world in a suitcase
The things you do to me
Nothing new to me
About you

Been on this track so long
There must be something here seriously wrong

But if love's the food of music
And the way to make it pay
You'd better break my heart today
'Cause I already wrote the song
Live at the Chapel slo mo track 6

2002

A studio version of this song appeared on Hugh's 2008 solo album Friendly Skies.

Whether in love or our professional lives, we are usually our own worst enemies,
our own worst publicists, and our own worst apologists. We all need a good agent.


Watch me shoot myself in the foot, in slow motion
I'd make it worse if I could, this implosion
There's no one here to pretend
That these are things I can mend

I trip right over my shoes in confusion
Mistake a dream for the news, my delusion
When opportunity knocks
I fall right out of my socks
And slip sideways and twisting and turning, diving into blue
This force of attraction that fuzzes up my view
When all that I needed and all I had to do
Was love you

When someone throws me a line, out of kindness
I get completely entwined. It's mindless
I flounder out of my depth
And tread the water to death
And slip sideways, twisting and turning, diving into blue
This force of attraction that fuzzes up my view
When all that I needed and all I had to do
Was love you

But lo and behold, what do I see below me
The mermaids are rising and one seems to know me

You walked right into my heart, Miss-Terious
And now it's come to the part where it's serious
I'm not equipped for success
That's why my life is a mess
I slip sideways, diving into blue
You're fuzzing up my view
When all I had to do was love you, was love

It's dumb enough, soppy stuff,
It's Ike 'n' Tina's puppy love
It's cookie time. It's nursery rhyme
I could be playing mastermind
I'm tossing a coin again; yes I'm tossing a coin again
I'm tossing a coin again, it's sure to be tails ...

... Watch me shoot myself in the foot, in slow motion
Live at the Chapel shooting stars track 7

2001

Cynics say that history is a process whereby we learn from the mistakes
of the past how to make the same mistakes in the future, but bigger.
I think it's a karma kind of thing.


Oh, yeah! It's a karma kind of thing
What we refuse to learn from keeps happening

It's a truth well known to millions
One they seldom like to tell
Among the things that end so badly
Are half the things that started well
Darkness at the end of the tunnel
The bright, misleading seam
Midnight right after daybreak
Nightmare in the middle of the dream
And how we all pull together in a crisis
If someone would only show us how
But if superman can't find a phone booth
Where the devil are we now?

It's a truth well known to millions
One they're ready to admit
When we trust to our leaders
We seldom see the end of it
But then a horn sounds in the canyon
Will the cavalry win through somehow?
Then the studio fires all the extras
So, where the devil are we now?

Oh, yeah! It's a karma kind of thing
What we refuse to learn from keeps happening

All the houses that we haunted
With the dreams of two careers
None of anything I wanted
Was worth the least of your blue tears
But as I drove out that evening
Through a night of shooting stars
The only one that I could wish on
Died in the ash-tray of my car
And it's a truth well known to millions
Between a T-bone and a holy cow
Lies a complex world of decisions
Where in heaven are you now?
It's a complex world of decisions
Where in heaven are you now?

But oh, yeah! It's a karma kind of thing
What we refuse to learn from keeps happening
Live at the Chapel blue-sky science track 8

2004

The correct expression is "blue-skies science", but try singing it!

I can still remember the flickering Images of man's first clownish steps on the moon.
Anything was possible back then. The sky was the limit. Unfortunately it still is.


Doggy in a tin can, wrapped up in a Russian flag
See the monkey put its head into the plastic bag
Fantastic bag

What about Gagarin and all those guys who end in "ov"
It's time to throw the bar in, time to show the winning stuff
That we're made of

Red is in ascendant, the moon's another domino
Let's keep it independent or mars will be the next to go
So don't muscle us, we'll show the world we're still the boss

Blue-sky science (There'll be a test-tube baby boom)
Blue-sky science (Termini in every room)
Blue-sky science (We'll have a city on the moon, real soon)
Blue-sky science rules

A crackle in your headset, Houston on the radio
Time to leave the jet set, every system good to go
But wait a mo

A message from the Whitehouse, truly a historic moment
Lonely as a lighthouse, did you really know what it meant?
This space for rent

‘Cause nothing in the world can equal being out of it
Nothing on the moon can equal seeing planet earth, the perfect view
And the future's right in front of you

Blue-sky science (We fly our jetpacks into school)
Blue-sky science (Robotic teachers keep their cool)
Blue-sky science (Recycle bubble gum for fuel)
Blue-sky science rules … Blue skies

Buffing up the rust, in every home a new receiver (new receiver, new receiver)
Kicking up the dust for fifty million new believers (Do you believe us?)

‘Cause nothing in the world can equal being out of it
And nothing on the moon can equal seeing out of it
And if you thought we'd gone away
Forget it Mack, we're back today

Blue-sky science (There'll be a test-tube baby boom)
Blue-sky science (Termini in every room)
Blue-sky science (We'll have a city on the moon, real soon)
Blue-sky science rules
Live at the Chapel queen of broken things track 9

2004

She's the high priestess of beachcombers, of flotsam and jetsam,
the home of the obsolete, the place where hearts go when they
can no longer be mended.

Thanks to Kim, this darkest of songs has now become a live favourite.


In the way you turn from me,
I see you fear my mystery
In the way you avoid my eyes
It's clear the truth still terrifies
At my feet the fractured crowns
Of four-and-forty defeated kings
I am the Queen of Broken Things

Tattered books upon my shelf
Are sealed to all except myself
And all that's strange and Byzantine
Is hid within their leather spines
And every page retells in blood
The desolation my science brings
For I am the Queen of Broken Things

Cautious strangers shy from me
The pious wring their hands
Saints and angels fly from me
As I turn their water into sand

Once the Emperor of Japan
Sent messengers throughout the land
To take alive a wondrous bird
The sweetest song the world had heard
Within a cage at my left hand
That nightingale no longer sings
For I am the Queen of Broken Things

The cage is open to the wind
But the bird won't fly; I've clipped his wings
I am the Queen of Broken Things
Live at the Chapel the Garden of Eden track 10

2003

Written for Edward Povey as part of the "Son of the Artist" trilogy.
I got a Povey lithograph for this one, the most I've ever earned with a song!

Under the suits and ties, under the routines we call our lives, under the tarmac
we'll find the jungle, under the bones of our cities lies a paradise to be regained.


The Garden of Eden wasn't far away, not far away from here
The Garden of Eden wasn't far away, not far away from here
Cool breeze, green trees ... I remember
The Garden of Eden wasn't far away, not far away from here
The Garden of Eden wasn't far away, not far away from here
Blue skies, angel eyes ... I remember
The Garden of Eden wasn't far away, not far away from here
The Garden of Eden wasn't far away, not far away from here
Blue skies, angel eyes, the crystal dream ... I remember

And if I could get it back again, I'd get it back again, I would
And if I could get it back again, I'd get it back again, I would
Come home, safe and warm ... I remember
Yes if I could get it back again, I'd get it back again, I would
Yes if I could get it back again, I'd get it back again, I would
Come home, safe and warm, the crystal dream ... I remember

The Garden of Eden wasn't far, not far away from here
The Garden of Eden wasn't far, not far away
The Garden of Eden wasn't, wasn't far away from here
Live at the Chapel ivory tower track 11

1981

A studio version of this song appeared on "the black tape".

Finally Hugh has re-recorded this powerful song about the value of true friendship,
which reveals the core of his personal beliefs, with a bunch of people who share them.
If you hear some laughter at the end of this track it's because these people trust each
other and are having fun in each other's company.

It's hard not to compromise family and friendships when what we call the "real world"
is setting the pace, but these will abide after the last deadline is past.

This was an audience favourite back in the old folksy solo days.


This is a message to the friends I knew
I’m what you made me, my thanks to you
Hold on to what you believe
Hold on and do not deceive

Despite the wonders of lands afar
Don’t ever change; I love the way you are
Now hold on to what you believe
Hold on and do not deceive
Your light has kept me alive when no one was there
The truth is, we all survive just because somebody cares

Too many keepers in the human zoo
So many people come to lean on you
But hold on to what you believe
Hold on and do not deceive
Though we may all have different roads to run
We’re sure to meet where all the roads are one
So hold on to what you believe
Hold on and do not deceive
Your light has kept me alive when no one was there
The truth is, we all survive just because somebody cares

Your light has kept me alive when no one was there
The truth is, we all survive just because somebody cares

All you magicians in the Ivory Tower
Seeking admission to the throne of power
Hold on to what you believe
Hold on and do not deceive
Live at the Chapel landing track 12

1996

A studio version of this song appeared on Hugh's 1999 double CD me & Miss Wray;
and an even better version was the title track of his 2001 CD Landing.

First recorded for "me & miss wray", before becoming a title track.

At last, a live version of the former title track, one of my favourites,
and one that works best when shot from the hip.
Afraid to land? Yawn, chew gum, and breathe slowly.


I travel far to see you. It's quite another world.
You draw me like a magnet. You're that kind of girl.

You said you'd love forever. I only had to choose.
I'm not afraid of gambling, I'm just afraid to lose.

I travel far to see you. Why must you be so hard.
You slide between the mirrors to keep me off my guard.

You said our love was perfect. You'd never let me down.
I'm not afraid of swimming, I'm just afraid to drown.

I travel far to see you. My friends all think I'm mad
to kill myself with yearning for what I've never had.

The post returns my letters. You're not there when I call.
I'm not afraid of climbing, I'm just afraid to fall.

And when I finally touch down, without your guiding hand,
I'm not afraid of flying, I'm just afraid to land.

I travel far to see you. It's quite another world.
You draw me like a magnet. You're that kind of girl.
Live at the Chapel an American dream track 13

1997

Studio versions of this song appear on the CDs me & miss wray & Landing.

This Song, which has hardly been out of our programme since I wrote it for
"me & miss wray", was the reason my baritone guitar was built scaled to A. How low can you go?


(See a photo of hugh's baritone guitar, made by Walter Kraushaar, in the photo gallery.)

An American girl came to stay, took a look at your life, ran away.
Couldn't cut it in the cold and the grey
and she thought you had a job anyway,
your American dream.

When you met her in the fall, in monterey,
it was love at first sigh, the movie way.
And you thought it would last, it all seemed OK.
Took a photo for your friends, wondered what they'd say
to your American dream.

We've all got our heartaches, heartaches,
shall I tell you mine?

Now you're staring at the wall, while the Beachboys play,
trying not to forget that fateful day
when an American girl came to stay,
took a look at your life, ran away,
your American dream.
Live at the Chapel getting going, getting gone track 14

2000

What can you do when yesterday was golden and tomorrow looks bleak?
Living in the past is not a choice.
Either make a better future somewhere else, or stay and try harder.


We had a good love, had something strong
But now it's faded, it all feels wrong
When I look into the past I see it bathed in light
But when I look into the future it's as black as night
I'm getting going, I'm getting gone

I reach to hold you, can't hold you long
It's like you freeze me, won't keep me warm
Lately you just look at me like someone lost
Another burning bridge you have to run across
I'm getting going, I'm getting gone

It's like I'm standing alone at a crossroads
Not a single sign I know
Time for heading off-road
Don’t matter where I go

Now I'm running down this dusty by-way
With the sunset in my eyes
There's good times coming my way
Out of clear and friendly skies

No use in playing your favourite song
No use in asking what track I'm on
Now the only thing in common is the colour blue
And it always was impossible to talk to you
I'm getting going, I'm getting gone
Now the only thing in common is the colour blue
And it always was impossible to talk to you
I'm getting going, I'm getting gone,
I'm getting gone
I'm getting going ...
... I'm getting gone
Live at the Chapel birthday surprise track 15

1995

A favourite live track that somehow missed the cut for 3 consecutive studio albums.

This is really quite a sleazy song, written from the point of view of one of life's lounge lizards.
Why wait for the real thing if you can have fourth-rate right now?


You say they don’t make men like they used to
These days, ain’t nothing built to last
You’re going to hang on in ‘til you choose to
Till all those wimps and machos fade into the past

You’re the centre of attraction
You’ve got gravity on your side
No need for covert action
While all the satellites around you just ride and collide, singing
“Sugar won’t you give me your number?
Sugar don’t you make me wait
I’ve got your birthday surprise
I’ve got private supplies
Let’s get together before your sell-by date”

You say there ain’t been no real men, not since Bogart
No ladies since Bergman and Bacall
And we all live in the shadows of great art
That is, if we’re really living at all
But babe, I know you care about the future
And I’m right, right here today
There may be others who might suit you
But honey, they all took up with valley girls and drifted away, singing
“Sugar won’t you give me your number?
Sugar don’t you make me wait
I’ve got your birthday surprise
I’ve got private supplies
Let’s get together before your sell-by date”

“Sugar won’t you give me your number?
Sugar don’t you make me wait
I’ve got your birthday surprise
I’ve got private supplies
Let’s get together before your sell-by date
I’ve got your birthday surprise
I’ve got private supplies
Let’s get together before your sell-by date”
Live at the Chapel moving to Berlin track 16

2005

A theme Song for a generation of the upwardly, downwardly and laterally mobile, freed
from the fetters of history to frolic in the fountains of Europe's new cultural navel.


(This "rhymin' ditty" turns out not only for the socially mobile, it's about mobility
of many kinds - it's a real mover. Pull the roof down, turn the volume up and away you go.)

When Davy left the valley he didn't look back
He had to be somewhere where the rubber meets the track
He's moving to Berlin,
he's moving to Berlin
Schönefeld, Tempelhof, ain't nobody taking off
Moving to Berlin

Kati had a dream, but it could not last
She's scared of the future, haunted by the past
She's moving to Berlin,
moving to Berlin
Spandau, Mitte, she'll never know what hit her,
Now she's moving to berlin

Cruising west on a sunny afternoon with the top down
Tunnelling east through the snow before they close the shop down

When Rollo hit the bottom he didn't stop trying
He grabbed his maiden from the banks of the rhine,
He said: "we're moving to Berlin, süsser, we're moving to Berlin
Kreuzberg, Wedding, i can' t say where we're heading,
But we're moving to Berlin"

You can't please everybody all the time, I think we know that
Sometimes you can't even please yourself
but ain't it so, that ...

... If you wanna live a life that really hops
And you're looking for a place where the party never stops,
Why don't you move into Berlin? Try moving to Berlin
Grünau, Hermsdorf, fighting for the same turf
Moving to Berlin

You can't please everybody all the time, I think we know that
Well sometimes you can't even please yourself
but ain't it so, that ...

... If you wanna live a life that really hops
And you're looking for a place where the party never stops,
Why don't you move into Berlin?
We're moving to Berlin
Grünau, Hermsdorf, fighting for the same turf
moving to Berlin
Pankow, Charlottenburg, everybody roll the rug
moving to Berlin
Bright lights big city, just another rhymin' ditty,
Moving to Berlin
Moving to Berlin
 

Hugh Featherstone plays Kraushaar Guitars
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