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Kit

Kit: This song was inspired by a fairy story Tom read as a child. He says, “I can’t remember what it was called but it was a disturbing combination of Puss-in-Boots with a reverse gender Beauty and the Beast.” The melodeon part was devised and played by James Dexter. The ringing tonics are by Leeroy, the woah-wo-style backing vocals feature both Tom and Leeroy.

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Benjamin

Benjamin: Influences on this lyric includes post-apocalypse themed TV like The Walking Dead and historical events such as the fall of South Vietnam. Ben Gunn is a character in Robert Louise Stevenson’s Treasure Island who was marooned alone on a desert island for years. The layered clamouring of steel-string acoustic guitars is provided by both Leeroy and Tom.

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Gretel

Gretel: These idea for these lyrics began when Leeroy mentioned a web-design feature known as a “bread-crumb trail”, which led to the classic Grimm’s fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, and then on to some good old-fashioned existential angst. Leeroy plays guitar, Tom plays lead and the melodica. Among the percussion instruments used here is a length of plastic tubing beaten with a drumstick.

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Gerhardt

Gerhardt: Another half-remembered tale from Tom’s childhood reading inspired the lyrics of this song. The original was a ghost story set around the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Our version has more of a timeless setting but utilizes the same twist. This track features guest musicians Jennifer Murray who devised and played the oboe solo, and Elaine Bloor, who sings the backing vocals.

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Ruth

Ruth: Inspired by the well-known lines from the Biblical story, Ruth is reimagined here as one of a group of inter-planetary migrant workers struggling to make a life in the hostile environs of an alien planet. Jennifer Murray devised and played the cor anglais solo. Leeroy plays the jangling rhythm guitar, Tom the rest. The second vocal is by Elaine Bloor.

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Odysseus

Odysseus: Here we present homeless Homer; a tale from the Odyssey pictured as a deadly altercation between two down-and-outs. Instead of a cave on the Cretan coast we take you round the back of the supermarket. Instead of Ithacan wine we offer White Lightening. Thom Pounds guests on this sparsely arranged track. He devised and played the harmonica solo.

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Anthony

Anthony: Inspiration for these lyrics came from an unusual source; Abba. Their song The Day Before You Came seems to describe the prelude to some awful, life-shattering event. In our song, a former police worker is haunted by his experiences. All this, plus an Alien reference in the opening verse. The backing vocalist is Elaine Bloor.

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Cassandra

Cassandra: Back to Ancient Greece and a song based on Cassandra, Princess of Troy, whose story is one of undeserved misery and torment. Another modern-dress production, the action again shifted from the warmth of the Mediterranean to the grim chill of more northerly climes. Leeroy’s guitar opens this song The Arabian drum-type sound is Tom slapping the back of an acoustic.

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Vivian

Vivian: An instrumental. A piece that slides seamlessly from cod-flamenco to cod-dub reggae. Leeroy came up with the riff and suggested the kazoo. This is the only track that features an electric bass. We were going for a Jah Wobble effect, though we don’t really manage it. All other songs use acoustic instruments and minimal effects. Here we finally throw all restraint to the winds.

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