Category Archives: Cinerama

I’m From Further North Than You

The first time I heard this song was on a Cinerama bootleg from early 2003 when it was called ‘Edinburgh’ and I was living down South. Piecing together in retrospect it may have been its first live airing at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen. There were some shrieks in the crowd upon its debut which is quite unusual as new songs usually take a while to warm to but I can understand why it got that reaction. It’s a special song and the band clearly thought so too as it was carried forward upon the transference to The Wedding Present and was the second single pulled from Take Fountain.

There’s the lovely way the song throws you straight in the middle of a conversation. What is it that led to someone having to explain where they are from and why were they mistaken in the first place. But the song, despite its anthemic shout-along moments has its dark alleys. It’s a song about a failed relationship. One that you look back upon and shake your head and wonder why on earth you stayed in it for so long. But there are lighter moments. I mean, any song that can have a verse that contains the phrases ‘weird pornography’, ‘counting planets’ and ‘red bikini’ is clearly a work of genius!

When I started experiencing the song live for myself I noted that, two-thirds of the way through when the guitars kicked in to that growling riff, that it sounded a bit like the old Weddoes sound. I recall hopping up and down to that refrain at the Garage in London in April 2004 and not even dreaming that just ten months later I’d be at the first gig of the ‘reformed’ Wedding Present playing the same song at the Spring and Airbrake in Belfast.

Just this past Summer I saw the song played again at the annual Gedge festival in Brighton and funnily enough he now lives down there in the South and I now live near Leeds. It’s funny that one of the first times I spoke to David, it was after I’d spoken to his then-partner Sally and I remember saying to him that I couldn’t understand her Northern accent. He pointed out that actually she was actually from down South and I realised that I’d just assumed she was a Northerner. She was actually probably from further South than me.

Questions and Answers with David Lewis Gedge:

This was originally titled ‘Edinburgh’. What inspired that title and why the change to how it is now?

DLG: The original title was suggested by the story in the lyric… i.e. that the narrator had met someone with a Scottish accent but had initially mistaken them as being from the south of England. Edinburgh has always been one of my favourite cities and so I decided to use that as being where the other person was from. I think it sounded quite romantic to me. But, later, I decided that, firstly, I wanted the title to be more literal but also, I wanted to reference that pride of being northern that would cause a northerner to feel appalled if someone mistook them for a southerner! Hence the outrage implied in “No, I’m not from the south, I am from further north than you!”

It’s a well-loved song and is enjoyed as a celebration but the song lyrics are actually quite melancholic. Do you have any thoughts about songs that are treated in ways that are different to their original feeling?

DLG: I suppose you’re right that it’s melancholic but my intention (as is often the case) was to inject some humour into an unfortunate situation. It’s one of our poppier songs, after all. The turnaround between “I admit we had some memorable days” and “but just not very many!” still makes me chuckle.

Do you feel different in living in different places? Does north/south or east/west mean anything to you anymore?

DLG: It does, yes. I get a distinctive feeling whenever I’m in a different parts of these islands and I still feel like I have returned ‘home’ whenever I’m in the north of England. That’s not to say any one place is better then another… but now I live in Southern England I’m acutely aware of a different mind-set in the people here.

The video for the single was filmed in Edinburgh. This involved a bit of acting, was it something you enjoyed?

DLG: It didn’t come instinctively to me, no! You’d think it’d be easy to just play yourself but as soon as the camera is rolling I find it incredibly difficult to even portray myself in a natural way.

This was chosen as a single. Any stories behind this? Were there any other songs that could have followed ‘Interstate 5’?

DLG: While we were recording Take Fountain both this and ‘Interstate 5’ screamed ‘single’ to me for different reasons. ‘Interstate 5’ had this huge, slightly ominous, sound which, to me, signalled a new Wedding Present album on the horizon whereas, this, as I say, just felt like pop music to me. I say ‘just’ but I love pop music, of course!

Just to confirm, the noise at 1:19 is Simon Cleave on guitar, not a dog, yeah?

DLG: It’s actually me… revving up to play my overdriven guitar part with a flick of the plectrum. There was a dog recorded during the Take Fountain sessions but it’s not on this track!

This got to number 34 in the single charts at the time when Top Of The Pops was still going. Was there a call-up?

DLG: Did it? Pretty impressive for a record label run from a rented flat in Newhaven, huh? But, no… no Top Of The Pops invitation for this one, I’m afraid!

Take Fountain brought the name of The Wedding Present back and there was a return to many of the sounds that fans associated with older tracks. This song, even in its Cinerama days, gave glimpses of what was to come. Did you think back, when writing this song, that it could be part of what was to come?

DLG: Not at all. We wrote this in early 2003 when our band was Cinerama and we had no thoughts of it ever being anything else other than Cinerama! Maybe that’s why it has a lighter feel… it’s rooted in a kind of Cinerama style indie-pop rather than something like ‘Interstate 5’ which was written a year and a half later.

Official Lyrics:

And then you said “No, I’m not from the south,
I am from further north than you!”
And with that you kissed me full on the mouth
And that was when I knew you were either drunk or you wanted me
and, you know, either way I wasn’t going to disagree

But how did one crazy night turn into six weeks?
How can we be ‘going out’ if neither of us speaks?
I think we’re the same in many ways and I admit we had some memorable days

But just not very many
I just think we both need more and we cant ignore how unhappy we were
I’d been abandoned by her and you needed a friend

All right the night we walked into the sea; I guess that was okay
And when we bought that weird pornography, yeah, that was a good day
The first time I saw your red bikini I just couldn’t help but stare
And when we counted planets in the sky, I was just happy you were there

Yes we’re the same in many ways and I admit we had some memorable days

But just not very many
I just think we both need more and we cant ignore how unhappy we were
I’d been abandoned by her and you needed a friend

Written and published by Gedge / Cleave [whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Kobalt Music except for North America where it is administered by Superior Music].

Studio Versions:

Single version [ScopitonesTONE 019]] TIME: 3:30
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass); Kari Paavola (drums); Steve Fisk (producer)
Released 14/02/2005

Klee remix version (appears on 7″ version of the single as well as compilation Search for Paradise [Scopitones / TONE 023]) TIME: 4:00
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass); Kari Paavola (drums); mix by Klee
Released 14/02/2005

Acoustic version (from Search for Paradise compilation) TIME: 2:17
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass); Charles Layton (drums)
Recorded at Yellow Arch, Sheffield
Released 29/05/2006

John Peel session version (on Season 3 CD as well as the Cinerama Complete Peel Sessions boxset) [Sanctuary Records ‎– CMXBX1526] TIME: 3:27
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass); Kari Paavola (drums)
Recorded 08/05/2003; first transmitted 04/06/2003

Take Fountain

Live Versions:

Live in New York (Cinerama): Recorded at The Knitting Factory on the 28th of June 2003 [Scopitones ‎– TONE 031] TIME: 3:17

Shepherds Bush Welcomes the Wedding Present: Recorded at Shepherds Bush, London 20th November 2005 [SECRET RECORDS – CRIDE81] TIME: 3:26
Performed by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass); Simon Pearson (drums)

Live in Leeds (The Wedding Present): Recorded at Leeds Metropolitan University 6th June 2006 [Scopitones ‎– TONE DL 032] TIME: 3:29

Shepherd’s Bush Welcomes

Video:

The promo video as directed by Tim Middlewick and starring David Gedge and Annie Bergin, filmed in Edinburgh.

The song also appears in live performances on the DVDs for An Evening With The Wedding Present which is the DVD version of the Shepherds Bush live CD and also Drive, a DVD compiling the band’s 2005 North American tour.

Live: 

First played in 2003 by Cinerama when it was called Edinburgh. It was then played extensively by The Wedding Present upon the release of Take Fountain across 2004-2006. It returned to the set in 2011-2012 and again in 2017-2018.

Hard, Fast And Beautiful

In 1997, The Wedding Present went on hiatus and over the next year or so David Gedge created a new project called Cinerama. A place to pour his ideas for film soundtracks and pop songs that didn’t fit in with an indie rock group. It became a creative place for him and long-term partner Sally Murrell to indulge their musical whims.

One of the earliest tracks heard by fans was ‘Hard, Fast And Beautiful’. Along with ‘Honey Rider’, this track really summed up the startling change for me. Gone were the rock guitars, in came the strings. Gone were the jeans, in came the suits. Some fans didn’t like the new sound but some brand new fans were gained. Now nearly twenty years later, this song still feels fresh. Instruments come in one by one, gently nudging up against one another. The melody on the chorus must make even the hardest heart swoon. The song rises and it falls, over and over until tailing out with that delicate piano sequence.

Lyrically, things weren’t so different from what had come before. This was a song of yearning: a lost chance at love and happiness. The despondency in the early verses gives way to angst and almost self-pity but is there a chance of peace in the end? By coming to terms with the realisation of his feelings, the narrator is maybe on the first steps to recovery. In fact, the epiphany almost creates a sound of joy especially with those gorgeous female backing vocals right at the end.

There are only a few versions of this song but there are several that stand out. The original album version is one of the highlights of that debut disc. The Spanish version is, of course, ‘hermosa’. The Live In Los Angeles cd features the classic Gladys Knight opening but my favourite has to be the Peel Night version celebrating the great man’s sixtieth birthday. This features some marvelous Simon Cleave guitar which adds a nice burning intensity to the choruses. Every version though is neither hard nor fast but they are all beautiful.

Questions and Answers with David Lewis Gedge:

The title is borrowed from the 1951 tennis/drama/romance film directed by Ida Lupino. I know you are a fan of film but are you also a tennis fan?

DLG: I like the 2004 tennis/drama/romance film ‘Wimbledon’, too! I’ve seen that one about three times, ha, ha. But yes, I do like tennis. It was one of the only sports I actually enjoyed playing at school. I always thought that Ilie Năstase was the tennis world’s answer to George Best. That being said… the song has nothing to do with tennis… I just liked the title.

This track, along with others, really stood out for me among those early Cinerama songs. Where in your learning process of this new writing style did this piece fit?

DLG: I think Cinerama tracks tend to fall into one of two types. They’re usually either attempts at creating some kind of atmospheric cinematic soundscape or just me delving into pop song writing in the ‘classic’ or ‘traditional’ sense. This song falls very much into the latter category. It’s vocal led and has proper verses, bridges and choruses. I think it’s one of the best ‘songs’ I’ve written, to be honest.

The chorus with its soaring double-tracked vocals really hits the heart strings. Were there any pop ‘gimmicks’ that were ever ‘off the table’ for you at this time or were you happy to experiment wherever it led you?

DLG: I’m always interested in exploring different techniques; double tracking the vocal like that was suggested by the producer/engineer of Va Va Voom, Dare Mason. But there are a few pop gimmicks, as you call them, that I tend to avoid, yes… guitar solos, saxophone breaks, children singing, using a dozen notes in a vocal melody when a couple will suffice…

All these early Cinerama songs are credited solely to yourself so did they arrive totally constructed when you were in the studio?

DLG: Yes. I wrote all the Va Va Voom era songs at home, on my own. During the mid-to-late 1990s using computers to assist in the making of music became much more accessible to someone like me who has no recording studio engineering knowledge or experience. By that I mean that a) they plummeted in price and b) they also became considerably more user friendly. With the aid of some basic sequencing software and an Akai sampler I was able to record demos of those early Cinerama songs onto a digital 8-track recorder synched to my computer using drum loops, a keyboard, a micophone and my guitars. But, despite all the machinery, I still wanted Cinerama to sound like ‘a band’ so I decided to use session musicians for the ‘proper’ recordings. That was the process I used for Va Va Voom and most of This Is Cinerama. The musicians would come into the studio and listen to the demo and I’d explain what I wanted them to play. That was the other benefit of the technology, actually… the software enables you to print out a score for people like the strings players, so, again… even though I can’t score music… I was able to explain, by and large, what I wanted from the musicians. So they would come into the studio, hear the song for the first time and then record their part.

Dare was very helpful in a) sourcing some extremely talented players and b) helping me through the process because it was a completely new way of working for me. For all my previous records I’d been in a band and all the songs had been written, arranged and rehearsed a long time before we’d even set foot in the recording studio. The Va Va Voom sessions were much more liquid. Sometimes the session musicians would play it completely as I’d written it and sometimes they would say: “Well, I can see what you’re trying to do but the violin part would sound better if I did it like this.”

There was actually a funny moment during the recording of ‘Hard, Fast And Beautiful’ when we had the pianist in. I had a strong idea of how I wanted the piano part to be. I wanted it to sound like the soundtrack of a French film from the 1960s or 70s. But I can’t play the piano so I had to write the piece bit by bit on the computer… recording a few seconds of the right hand part, then a few seconds of the left… then moving on to the next section. It was a complicated process with all those overdubs but, when I was finally happy with it, I printed out the score and brought it along to the studio we were using to record piano. The pianist was a friend of Dare’s called Davey Ray Moor but what I didn’t know at the time was that he’s this hugely talented composer and multi-instrumentalist. He took one look at my score and said: “I can’t play this!” I asked why not, thinking that maybe we’d need someone with greater skills but he said: “Because they way it’s written I would need three hands!”

I know you love Terry de Castro’s backing vocals and she certainly shines on this piece. What is it about her vocals you love?

DLG: I do love Terry’s backing vocals but Va Va Voom was recorded before I met her. All the female singing on here is by Sally Murrell who hadn’t ever sung on a record before! She did a beautiful job…

I love the ‘Gladys Knight’ section on the Live In Los Angeles version – did you get that reaction often?

DLG: Ha, ha… yes, I suppose so… it’s a popular song. The difference between ‘Hard, Fast And Beautiful’ and a lot of my other songs is that the beginning is very quiet so you can clearly hear the audience reaction. On that occasion I was taken right back to hearing Gladys Knight And The Pips’ ‘The Way We Were’ on an LP my mum used to play all the time in the 1970s.

Do you have fond recollections of those days – when most of your gigs were low key and filled with hard-core, cult followers and/or new fans to Cinerama?

DLG: It was an interesting time. I was forging ahead into some kind of a new territory for me and so I was extremely appreciative of any support from those fans who came with me, while, at the same time, being excited to meet people who’d never liked The Wedding Present. The only frustration was that I didn’t have the resources to re-create the ‘full’ Cinerama sound live… I mean like we did in London a couple of years ago for the Live 2015 album. We only really used the full mini-orchestra on sessions for John Peel in those days.

Official Lyrics:

And guess what I found
It’s a letter that I started writing when you walked out

It says that I won’t miss you because I’ve met someone who’s more exciting
But that wasn’t true

So how did I lose you?
The last thing you ever wanted to do was to hurt me but I’d still accuse you

And I couldn’t know I’d never feel the same way with another
So I let you go

Yeah, I’ve got a girlfriend
She’s beautiful, considerate and, yes, I do love her
But I’m not going to pretend that she’s ever going to be the one

Because now I know that it was you all the time
How could I ever think it wasn’t true?
Now I’ve stopped trying to tell myself that I’ve grown out of being in love with you

And deep in the night I lie awake and think about you
Of course it’s not right

But what can I do?
I can’t sleep in this bed without you
If you only knew

Yeah, I’ve got a girlfriend
She’s beautiful, considerate and, yes, I do love her
But I’m not going to pretend that she’s ever going to be the one

Because now I know that it was you all the time
How could I ever think it wasn’t true?
So now I’ve stopped trying to tell myself that I’ve grown out of being in love with you

Because now I know that it was you all the time
How could I ever think it wasn’t true?
So now I’ve stopped trying to tell myself that I’ve grown out of being in love with you

[Written by Gedge and published by Cooking Vinyl Publishing]

Studio Versions:

1 – Va Va Voom album track [Cooking Vinyl COOK CD 150] – released 27/07/1998, recorded Spring 1998; TIME: 4:59

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar, producer); Sally Murrell (backing vocals); Davey Ray Moor (piano); Anthony Coote (bass); Che Albrighton (drums); Abigail Trundle (cello); Rachel Davies (violin); Dare Mason (guitar, producer)

2 – Spanish version released as ‘Dura, Rapida Y Hermosa’ on the Superman 7″ [Scopitones TONE 007] released 23/04/2001; and later included on Cinerama Holiday  [Scopitones TONE CD013] released 23/09/2002; TIME: 4:27

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar, producer); Sally Murrell (backing vocals, keyboards); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass); Kari Paavola (drums); Steve Albini (engineer); Dare Mason (mixer/overdubs) [translation by Anne Foley]

Live Versions:

1 – John Peel’s 60th Birthday version; TIME: 5:09

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Sally Murrell (backing vocals, keyboards); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass); Bryan McLellan (drums); Philip Robinson (keyboards, backing vocals)
Recorded at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, UK on 31/08/1999, first broadcast on 02/09/1999
Released on John Peel Sessions  [Scopitones TONE CD 006] 02/04/2001 and later as part of Cinerama – The Complete Peel Sessions

2 – Los Angeles 2000 version; TIME: 5:00

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass); Kari Paavola (drums)
Recorded at The Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, USA on 05/11/2000
Released on Live In Los Angeles [Scopitones TONE CD 009]  06/05/2002

Live:

Hard, Fast And Beautiful was part of Cinerama’s first set on 22/07/1998 at the Camden Falcon, London, UK and stayed in until 2001. It reappeared briefly on the setlist in 2003. Then with the return of The Wedding Present, it didn’t appear again until around 2011 when Cinerama started playing as a support group at the Edge of the Sea and Peaks festivals. It was played as part of a set with a full orchestra at some shows in the Summer of 2015.

Video:

Va Va Voom version:

A nice live video from ATEOTS 2011 featuring Charlie on bass guitar:

The aforementioned version with full orchestra in 2015:

 

Deer Caught in the Headlights

Like many other fans the first time I heard ‘Deer Caught in the Headlights’ was live on the Bizarro 21st Anniversary tour in 2010. There was a bootleg circulating amongst fans of The Wedding Present concert in Zagreb  and then the Bizarro: Live in Tokyo also came out, a full year ahead of the polished studio version on Valentina. Despite this, there was no feeling of over-familiarity when the latter was released. And as with the rest of Valentina, we also gratefully a Cinerama version with the Vegas levels turned up to 10.

On the original version, well, what a sum of varying sounds: that glorious roaring start; the frantic pace of the verses mixed with the slower chorus and the plaintive quiet ‘painter’ section; the noisy outro before the vignette at the end with the mournful organ*. The lyrics tell an uncomplicated tale of pure unadulterated love. No cynicism here, just a man who can’t get over how lucky he is to have someone with him who is so dear to his heart.

*FUN FACT: This vignette was always intended for this song  –  it features the same chords, just played slightly differently.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

I am curious about the title as you had to slightly alter the lyric to make it. Was the imagery of the deer so strong that the title was never going to be anything else?

DLG: I don’t think there any rules saying that the title has to be extracted word-for-word from the lyric, are there?! In this case I think ‘Deer Caught In The Headlights’ works well because it’s adapted from a well-known idiom but then in the actual lyric I personalised the imagery to illustrate how the narrator actually feels and to make it flow in the song better.

How much of the song was written by Terry de Castro? Was it the main guitar riffs or more than that?

DLG: Terry thought of the main guitar riffs that Graeme Ramsay played on the original Wedding Present version of Valentina, yes… and she also came up with her own bass line and vocal parts, of course, as she usually did. I remember that when we started working with her riffs it sounded quite poppy but it changed once we’d sorted out the bass and drums. Terry says ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ by The Rolling Stones inspired her while we were working on the rhythm section parts. It’s odd, though, how what started out being quite a mellow song became one of the loudest, most intense Wedding Present tracks ever!

“Ingenuousness” is such a great word to rhyme with “dress”. I’m betting no other pop song has ever had that word in it before but have you ever used it in a real life conversation?

DLG: Probably not! Ironically, I suppose we’re much more likely to use the opposite in real life conversation, as in “you’re being very disingenuous!”

A version was released on the Bizarro: Live In Tokyo album before it came out on Valentina. Presumably you don’t have any preciousness over that sort of thing? Over having new songs out ‘there’ before they are perfectly honed in the studio?

DLG: I don’t think a song is ever really ‘finished’… but, usually, if we’re playing it at concerts we’re, by and large, happy with the existing arrangement and excited about playing it live. And that’s especially the case with this one as Graeme points out in the Valentina : The Story Of A Wedding Present Album book. “This quickly became the best Wedding Present song to play live. Without fail, any gig not going well could be redeemed from the monster instrumental section onwards.” – Graeme Ramsay [drums; The Wedding Present, 2006-2009, guitar; The Wedding Present, 2009-2011].

Do you prefer The Wedding Present or Cinerama version?

DLG: Ha, ha… how could I possibly answer that? Chalk and cheese, my friend. I love Terry’s singing on the Cinerama version, though.

Anything you’d change?

DLG: I did change something. As you can hear on the recording for the Live In Tokyo album that you mention, I used to sing: “If I was a painter, I’d just paint portraits of you” in the quiet bit. Until someone pointed out that it was grammatically incorrect!

Comments from the Valentina book [TONE 043]:

Terry de Castro: This one started as a jaunty (bordering on twee) little riff. It reminded me of ‘Holly Jolly Hollywood’, in that the chorus sounded….festive. We kept singing, “Merry-Christmastime…” in the breakdown. Oh, we had a laugh. But it turned into something altogether more aggressive and perhaps this happened in order to counteract the ‘Christmas’ in it. Or maybe it just happened naturally. It’s an aspect of the process I’ve always enjoyed, how some songs arrive fully formed and others shift around and become something that hardly resembles what they start as.

Charles Layton: I remember we weren’t too keen on this song until we arrived in America for the Bizarro Tour rehearsals. Then we looked at it again and decided on the verse pattern with the bass and drums. When it locked in, it changed the whole feel of the song. Then, as we began to play it live, it really came together and started going down really well with the crowds. The noisy part at the end was originally a third shorter, but it sounded so good we thought we could extend it so that David and Graeme could kick in with another pedal to go “one louder”!

Andrew Scheps: This is definitely one of my favourites. I wouldn’t mind if it was twice as long. I loved it from the first time I heard it on rehearsals; it got me really excited to mix the record.

David Gedge: The clattering sound in the quiet end section reprise thing is me, falling over one of those standing ashtray things, as I was trying to film Graeme playing the organ outside in the studio courtyard.

Official Lyrics:

You won’t give it a thought and that’s neither wrong nor right
But I’m the deer that’s caught in your headlight
And how can it be that just one glance is enough to petrify me?
How do you do that stuff?

Because as soon as you look my way, that’s when I totally freeze
And it’s at moments like these that I can’t think of a single thing to say
Except for, well, maybe: “You’re just too pretty for me”

You wear a stunning dress and then say: “What, this old thing?!”
And the ingenuousness is just so captivating

And as soon as you look my way, that’s when I totally freeze
And it’s at moments like these that I can’t think of a single thing to say
Except for, well, maybe: “You’re just too pretty for me”

And if I were a painter I’d just paint portraits of you
You’d be in everything I do

Song written by David Gedge and Terry de Castro. All publishing administered by Fintage Music International outside of the United Kingdom and Eire.

Studio Version:

1 – Valentina (by The Wedding Present) version released 19/03/2012 (Scopitones [TONE 037]) TIME: 5:25

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Graeme Ramsay (guitar); Pepe Le Moko (bass and backing vocals); Charles Layton (drums and percussion); Andrew Scheps etc (producer)

(Recorded in the Summer and Autumn of 2011 at Black Box Studios, France; vocals recorded at The Laundry Room, California, USA)

2 – Valentina (by Cinerama) version released 18/05/2015 (Scopitones [TONE 052]) TIME: 3:50

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals); Alvaro Escudero (electric guitar); David Casillas (bass); Terry De Castro (backing vocals); Fernando Arias (drums); Jose Ramon Feito (piano and other keys); Miguel Herrero (trumpet); Antonio Gomez (trombone); Tino Cuesta (saxophone); Elena Miro (cello); Ricardo Fernandez (viola); Jorge Diaz & Elisa Martinez (violins); Pedro Vigil (producer)

(Group recorded in July 2013 and July 2014 in Acme Studios and Teisco Studios in Asturias, Spain; vocals recorded January 2014 in Laundry Room Studios, California, USA; mixed in Andalucia, Spain in July 2014 )

Live Version:

1 –  Bizarro – Live in Tokyo 2010 released 16/02/2011 (& Records of Tokyo [YOUTH 114]) TIME: 5:23

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Graeme Ramsay (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals); Charles Layton (drums); Migi (live mix)

(Recorded on 07/05/2010 at O-West, Tokyo, Japan)

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Live:

‘Deer…’ was first played live on 01/04/2010 at the Casbah, San Diego, USA. It was played throughout the American tour and festival season until September that year. It returned to the set for a while in 2011 before becoming a mainstay of the set in 2012/3 where it sometimes ended the set. After an absence during 2014, it was back in 2015.  As of July 2016 it has been played  151 times with the last time being 21/05/2016 in Wolverhampton.

Videos:

[Special thanks to Tracy Hopkinson]

 

Wow

Cinerama had been around for a couple of years by the time that ‘Wow’ arrived. Just as some fans couldn’t take to the new band, Va Va Voom brought others that were new to the delights of David Gedge’s songs. Releases were coming thick and fast: four singles with fantastic b-sides, one album and a compilation of earlier singles and b-sides all came out in 2000.

‘Wow’ was a surprise to some of us at that time as it seemed like a return to the sound of previous years. Mixed in with the slinky orchestration of Cinerama, it was a heady mix. There was a new drummer in Simon Pearson whilst ex-The Wedding Present guitarist, Simon Cleave had been back in the fold for about a year and along with Terry DeCastro’s ever-excellent musicianship this was a band making some beautiful music.

‘Wow’ is kind of a perfect Gedge formula in many ways: Lust + Couplets + Roaring Guitars + Long Melodic Outro = Pop Genius. It’s been performed in many ways over the years from stripped down acoustic to full rock band to augmented orchestra and it never ever gets old. You want it to last forever. You compel it to stay. You are sure. OK?

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

I guess the big question about this song is, it came kind of in the middle of the Cinerama era but was the first clear sign that the Wedding Present ‘sound’ was ‘returning’. It was noisier and rockier than anything in the Va Va Voom era. What was it that made you write (or record) a song that sounded so much like your (then) former band?

DLG: I didn’t go out to create something that sounded like The Wedding Present; I think it was just the way it came together. I’d written and arranged Va Va Voom totally on my own and had consciously tried to write songs around other instruments, rather than concentrating on the guitar as we’d done in The Wedding Present. But, after the release of Va Va Voom, Cinerama became more of a band and so, even though I still wrote this song at home on my own using the computer, we started arranging songs more as a band, too. And I think that’s where the similarities to The Wedding Present started to creep in, especially since the Wedding Present guitarist was now the Cinerama guitarist!

The songs recorded as part of the Disco Volante sessions are pretty varied. At what stage in the recording process was ‘Wow’ and how much of the result was influenced by Steve Albini?

DLG:  ‘Wow’ was one of the first songs to be written for what would be the follow up to Va Va Voom. I think the variety comes from the fact that I was still in the poppy post – Va Va Voom stage but, at the same time, also immersing myself in those rockier Cinerama band surroundings. Albini never really influences recordings, to be honest. He sees himself more of a documenter.

I’m assuming the single/album versions were cut from the same recording sessions? Was ‘Wow’ always going to be a single or did you only realise after recording and so have to create an edited version?

DLG: It was always going to be a single, yes. I’d earmarked it as ‘the herald’ for the next album quite early on and doing the two versions was always part of that strategy. It was just one of those songs that sounded like a statement of intent!

We tracked the six and a half minute version in Chicago with Albini but the only additional instrument we recorded at that time was the flute part. It was mixed, along with ‘Gigolo’, there and then by Albini and we faded it out over the outro to make the length a more radio-friendly four minutes. The third track on the ‘Wow’ CD single, ’10 Denier’, was left over from a previous recording session. When the single came out in the summer of 2000 we were still working on Disco Volante here in England with Dare Mason. For the album version of ‘Wow’ we added strings and french horn and, obviously, didn’t fade it out this time!

The Extended version includes some chitter-chatter at the start, the gorgeous instrumental outro and some distortion at the end. Any thoughts on the extra elements?

DLG: I surreptitiously recorded the chitter-chatter in a London restaurant on my portable mini-disc but then we recorded the ‘wine pouring’ in the studio. It was Dare’s idea to have one glass panned in one speaker and one in the other… ‘some for you, some for me’.

You’ve written quite a few songs that have long outros, with ‘Take Me!’ being perhaps the most famous example. What makes you think a song should have an end like that? And what makes you decide when enough is enough? I could listen to the end of ‘Wow’ for ten minutes and never get bored. Why stop where you did?

DLG:  I love a long outro, ha, ha… and some songs just call out for it. It just needs a pattern and tempo that can withstand repetition, I guess. But on ‘Wow’ the point is that the whole thing gradually builds and builds… the drums and guitars increasingly get more intense, additional guitar layers enter, then the solo french horn joins in… and I think that you ultimately reach a point where it feels that the arrangement is busy enough. At the end of the outro the higher strings play a counter melody and I sometimes think that maybe I went too far with that!

The lyrics are pretty unambiguous and in fact the stark reality that lust can overtake all rational and moral thought maybe strikes a chord with fans. Do you think this ‘weakness’  is something that most people succumb to at some point in their lives?

DLG: You would have to conduct a survey to answer that!

I know people that have had secret rendezvous at Wedding Present/Cinerama concerts. Do you think your fans are drawn to your lyrics because they already live lives that replicate your words or do they act out in ways that they wouldn’t normally because they are fans?

DLG: I think people are drawn to my lyrics because they’re meaningful and unambiguous and are rarely cloaked in ridiculous imagery. I just try to discuss the kinds of things that happen to us all.

Cinerama singles and albums had great sleeves. Is that Gina Lollobrigida on the single release and who designed the cover?

DLG: The earlier sleeves, including this one, were usually designed by Andrew Swain at Cactus following my brief that I wanted a modern feel applied to retro photographic imagery. I think Andrew went with more of a lighter ‘pop culture’ approach than Egelnick & Webb who did the later Cinerama sleeves. But it’s not Gina Lollobrigida, no.

You’ve played the song live as Cinerama in the old days; with the Wedding Present; with a couple of brass musicians and with a full orchestra. How much difference does this make to you live how many musicians are on stage? Do you prefer the full orchestra version over the others?

DLG: Ultimately, if a song is good enough it’ll stand being played by one person on an acoustic guitar… and I think this song is good enough. That being said, it does sound ‘huge’ when the band is complemented by a string section and the brass and flute and I’m really glad we were able to record a version in that format for the Live 2015 album/DVD.

Official Lyrics:

You’ve avoided questions that could’ve easily spoilt the mood
Like ‘where does my girlfriend work?’, ‘what’s her favourite food?’
I think I know someone who could give me an alibi
So, yes, I think I’ve just proved that I’m prepared to lie

But there is nothing quite like a secret rendezvous
I think I know already what I’m going to do
Outside the air is cold and your arm slips into mine
When you invite me in, you know I won’t decline

But I don’t want to stay forever
Oh, I don’t want to leave my girlfriend but, wow, this isn’t happening the way I’d planned
I’m not going to say never but I don’t want to fall in love right now
Well, just as long as we both understand

As you lead me up the stairs, I’m leering at your thighs
You’re revealing parts of me I just don’t recognise
You leave behind a scent that lingers in the air
It draws me up the steps but I should not be there

But I don’t want to stay forever
Oh, I don’t want to leave my girlfriend but, wow, this isn’t happening the way I’d planned
Oh, I’m not going to say never but I don’t want to fall in love right now
Well, just as long as we both understand

You’re telling me, almost compelling me, to stay
But don’t close the door because I’m still not sure
OK

Written and published by Gedge, whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Publishing BV.

Studio Version:

1 – Single version released 12/06/2000 [Scopitones, TONE CD 002]TIME: 3:59

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Sally Murrell (vocals, keyboards); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals); Simon Pearson (drums); Paul Martens (flute); Steve Albini (engineer); Dare Mason (mixer)

2 – Disco Volante version released 18/09/2000 [Scopitones, TONE CD 004] TIME: 6:44

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Sally Murrell (vocals, keyboards); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals); Simon Pearson (drums); Paul Martens (flute); Abigail Trundle (cello); Rachel Davis (violin); Andrew Blick (trumpet); Jon Boswell (french horn); Steve Albini (engineer); Dare Mason (mixer)

(Recorded in Electrical Audio, Chicago and Oaklands Groove, London in the Summer of 2000)

Live Version:

1 –  Live in Los Angeles version released 2002 (Scopitones, TONE CD 009) TIME: 7:05

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Sally Murrell (vocals, keyboards); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals); Kari Paavola (drums); Ethan Kairer (live sound mixer)

(Recorded at The Knitting Factory, Los Angeles, USA on 05/11/2000 [Cinerama: Winter Tour])

2 – Live in Belfast version released 06/10/2003 [Scopitones, TONE CD 015] TIME: 6:05

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); (Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals); Kari Paavola (drums); Richard Jackson (live sound mixer)

(Recorded at The Empire, Belfast, Northern Ireland on 05/09/2002 [Cinerama: 2002 Tour])

3 – Live 2015 version released 09/11/2015 [Scoptiones, TONE 062] TIME: 6:25

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Samuel Beer-Pearce (guitar); Katherine Wallinger (bass); Charles Layton (drums); Danielle Wadey (keyboards, glockenspiel, backing vocals); Melanie Howard (keyboards, backing vocals); Pedro Vigil (guitar); Rebecca Doe (violin); Michael Simmonds (violin); Robert Spriggs (viola); Anna Beryl (cello); Andrew Blick (trumpet); Elizabeth Palmer (flute); Sebastian Falcone (live recording/mixer)

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Live:

Debuting in 2000 to rapturous reception, ‘Wow’ continued in the set until the seeming demise of Cinerama around 2004 but as soon as 2006, it was already back in the Wedding Present’s repertoire.

Videos:

 

Perfect Blue

2005 saw the rebirth of The Wedding Present. For some, including, it seemed, the band itself, there was little difference in the semantics. As Shakespeare wrote “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” but there was something special, something primal and tribalistic that was awoken when that change happened. The band from my younger years were back – even though they’d never really gone away.

On that return tour that would last 16 months, the band decided to end their set with the song that was ending the new album, Take Fountain. It was a beautiful song – a love song without any irony or bitter sweet taste. Just a song of innocent, wide-eyed devotion, pure and simple.  The lyrics include touches of lump-in-the-throat deprecation (“I’m not sure just what I did to deserve you”) and deadpan humourless conviction (“Because, when I’m away from you, it’s like something’s missing/That sounds drippy but I swear it’s true”). David Gedge even drops his voice to speak that middle phrase – just to emphasise how much she, and therefore the song, mean to him. As alluded to below, this song is real, it was not written for the sake of a needing a ballad to close an album, it’s from the heart. And as anyone who has ever been in love (or maybe still is) knows, when you feel this way, you don’t care who knows about it and you don’t care how it might look.

The song begins quietly with just guitar and vocal, with an aching silence after the “you’re staring” line. On the album, it gently builds picking up instruments along the way until by the halfway point, strings and horns are joining in. It ends in a gorgeous crescendo of noise that stays with you even after the needle lifts from the groove. Live, the song took on another life. Occasionally the band would attempt to mimic the orchestral feel of the original but most of the time, they set aside those thoughts and just filled the gap with guitars. Lots of noisy guitars. So, for many of the gigs in that period (and I went to a lot of them), the sets ended with several minutes of heart-surgingly powerful guitars. Gedge and co would take the song up several ratchets in their attempts to burst our eardrums and twang at our heart-strings. At the end of each gig, the fans were left exhausted but with massive smiles on their faces. Perfect.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

This debuted live as a Cinerama song in 2003. Did it go through any changes between when it was written and when it appeared on Take Fountain?

DLG: No, because, as you know, when we started Take Fountain we all thought we were making the fourth Cinerama album and so that’s how it was recorded. I think we decided it was actually going to be a Wedding Present album during the mixing.

I think most people assume this song was written about your now-wife Jessica. Can you break your usual wall and say if that’s so? If yes, what does she think about having such a beautiful love song written about her?

DLG: I will just say that Take Fountain is one of the two most ‘personal’ albums I’ve written… the other being George Best. Take Fountain essentially tells the story of the end of one relationship and the start of another and Perfect Blue, along with its ‘sister’ song, Queen Anne are the optimistic closing tracks at the end of what is otherwise quite a melancholy journey.

The lyrics (especially the last verse), as are often the case, suggest a lot of self-deprecation. Is that really how you are as I find people have very differing opinions on your real personality?

DLG: Ha, ha… maybe I’m just a complex kinda guy. Talking of the lyrics… when we were sound checking this song at The Leadmill in Sheffield once the monitor engineer came over to me after I’d done the spoken “it’s like something’s missing” line in the second verse and put his head close to my monitor speakers as we continued to play. He thought I’d paused during the singing to complain about the mix he’d given me.

Halfway through, the song changes into a long instrumental for around two and a half minutes. On the record it goes from guitars into an orchestral coda. Live, of course, it was usually just performed with guitars. Both versions are magnificent but I know that a lot of fans loved the live version as it allowed them to dance wildly in the same way songs like Kennedy and Flying Saucer did with their noisy outros. I think the album version sounds more romantic and the live version more frenetic and exciting. Which do you prefer? How much do you love playing it live especially the last minute with the extra roaring guitar? Can you try and get a live version onto a nicely recorded official release please?

DLG: It’s difficult to say which I prefer. In the studio you have the luxury of being able to add extra instrumentation, correct mistakes, fine-tune the production… and all that appeals to me because I’m a perfectionist! But then there’s nothing quite like playing a song live to ramp up the intensity and the excitement in the arrangement. What we’ve always tried to do in The Wedding Present, of course, is capture that live power in the studio. With a song like Perfect Blue we wanted to create a huge dynamic shift from the beginning, where it’s just guitar and singing, to the end, where all the guns are blazing but there’s still room for a solo french horn to cut through with the final melody.

As music lovers, a lot of songs get intrinsically linked with our own real life events and of course that is why we hold them so dear and feel quite protective over our love for them. Do you ever feel protective over songs, for example ones which may hold particular personal significance? Playing Devil’s Advocate here – would you let Adele cover Perfect Blue?

DLG: It’s an odd thing… I feel very protective of the songs while they’re being written but once we start performing them or recording them I do feel like I’m letting them go in some way. It’s as if by that point I’ve done all I can to prepare them… now they have to fend for themselves in the outside world! And I’m always interested to hear other people’s interpretations of my work, yes.

Official Lyrics:

And when I turn round to glance at you, you’re staring
And your eyes are such a perfect blue that I can’t look away
Did I get shy?
Maybe I didn’t make it clear, but, darling, I think I’ll always want you near

Because, when I’m away from you, it’s like something’s missing
That sounds drippy but I swear it’s true
You just appeared and, no, it wasn’t rehearsed, there really was no warning
Now you’re the first thing in my head each morning

And the more I have, the more I want you
The more you smile, the more I know that I’ll never make you sad
But I should warn you that I just might never let you out of my sight

I’m not sure just what I did to deserve you
I’m not complaining, God forbid, I just don’t understand!
Tell me why haven’t you had enough of me?
How have I managed to you make you love me?

The more I have, the more I want you
The more you smile, the more I know that I’ll never make you sad
But I should warn you that I just might never let you out of my sight

Written by Gedge / Cleave and published by Gedge [whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Publishing BV] / Complete Music.

Studio Version:

1 – Take Fountain version released 14/02/2005 TIME: 5:31

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass and backing vocals); Kari Paavola (drums and percussion); Jen Kozel (violin); Stephen Cressswell (viola); Lori Goldstone (cello); Don Crevie (french horn); Jeff McGrath (trumpet);  Producer/Engineer/Mixer/(other instruments): Steve Fisk
(Recorded in the USA in the Summer of 2004)

Live Version:

1 – Live in New York by Cinerama released 18/01/2010 (Scopitones, download-only) TIME: 6:30

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Simon Cleave (guitar); Terry De Castro (bass and backing vocals); Kari Paavola (drums and percussion)
(Recorded on 28/06/2003)

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Live:

As mentioned above, the song started off as a Cinerama song in their 2003 gigs and by the time 2005 arrived and the band had changed name back to The Wedding Present and embarked on a long tour, the song had become a firm live favourite. It reappeared in setlists in 2007, 2011-12 and 2014.

Videos:

No official video for this song although in 2011 MVDvisual released Drive [MVD5208D], a documentary and live video collection of 2005’s North American tour so there is a version of Perfect Blue on there which isn’t on youtube. Instead, here are a few versions. First up is the album version with a straightforward non-video.

Perfect Blue – album version

Next is an example of the noisier, more guitar-driven live version despite a guitar change halfway through the coda by Chris McConville.

Perfect Blue – live, Hamburg 2007

Lastly, an acoustic recording of the song which has had a video created for it.

Perfect Blue – acoustic by Gedge/Cleave, Amsterdam 2004

[Special thanks to Tracy Hopkinson & Hick Hallworth]

King’s Cross

By 1999, fans of The Wedding Present knew that this Cinerama project was here to stay. Following on from debut album Va Va Voom came a slew of singles and one of them was a double-a side release of Pacific and King’s Cross. The latter was a clear signpost to how the band’s sound would change over the next few years. A cross between the easy listening, relaxed style of the first album and the passion and energy of later releases, King’s Cross was a yearning, anguished track that sounded like a big hug was required.

The chorus is sumptuous and, as Mr Gedge mentions below, eminently hummable.  The lyrics involve an affair and a train station – very Gedgian!

I understand that some people who visit this blog may not be as unfamiliar with the Cinerama tracks but I recommend this as a perfect gateway drug just as it was all those years ago.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

This was a double A-side single with ‘Pacific’. Any thoughts on that? You were firing songs out on a very regular basis around this time.

DLG: Both those songs were written in 1998, the year that Cinerama’s debut album Va Va Voom was released. I think, by then, that I was feeling much more confident about arranging music in the ‘Cinerama style’… I’d learnt a great deal during the recording of Va Va Voom… so I guess I just wanted to crack on and write more songs. In particular, I wanted to create a song that had the beautiful sound of a mellotron choir running all the way through it. And ‘Pacific’ heavily features mellotron strings, too…

How was this song written? Were you still writing solo at this point or did others collaborate?

DLG: No, I was still writing on my own, in the same way as I’d done on Va Va Voom and would do for much of Disco Volante, the second Cinerama album. All at my desk with a guitar, keyboard, computer, sampler and digital 8-track recorder.

It came out on a pink vinyl 7” on Elefant Records – why was that?

DLG: I was familiar with Elefant Records… it’s a very cool label from Spain… so when Luis Calvo, the founder, approached me to see if I’d be interested in having them release a Cinerama single, of course I said ‘Yes, please!’. The sleeve design and pink vinyl was the idea of their artist but it was totally in keeping with the mood of Cinerama sleeves.

Lyrically it sounds like the narrator is meeting up with a friend from a previous time who liked them more and they were back in town again and asking to stay. Is the narrator now doubting their previous decision or are they using that person?

DLG: Not really, ha, ha! It partly deals with the narrator feeling guilty that they have been ‘leading someone on’ and partly wondering if they have made the right decision in not developing what appears to be an illicit affair into a more serious relationship.

Can you explain the title? King’s Cross is the London station portal for up north (Leeds, etc.). Always find myself humming it when I’m there.

DLG: Well, it’s a hummable tune! The narrator has obviously fled from the relationship and railway stations are a powerful and romantic setting for tearful goodbyes! I lived in Leeds from the late seventies until 2003… and, as a musician, you do find yourself needing to visit London frequently… so I knew that particular station better than any!

Official Lyrics:

And when you asked me to stay, I made some excuse
When deep down I knew that all hell was breaking loose
So why was I there in the first place?
I’m not sure
I think I wanted to spend the night with you and, though you wanted more
I thought that you and me were never meant to be
Now why would I think that?

When I called home to tell her that I’d be late, you stood outside the ‘phone box
When some wouldn’t have bothered to wait
And how can I ever say sorry for leading you on?
I came into your life without asking and then suddenly I was gone

Because I thought that you and me were never meant to be
Now why would I think that?
You and me, yeah, now of course I see

And I could ponder this forever but I can’t explain
What it was that made me ever get on that train

Well I thought that you and me were never meant to be
Now why would I think that?
You and me, well, now of course I see

Written by Gedge and published by Cooking Vinyl Publishing.

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Studio Versions:

1 – Double-A side single version with Pacific [ELEFANT ER-210] recorded 1998, released 05/08/1999, and collected on compilation This Is Cinerama  [COOKING VINYL COOK CD 180] released 2000 TIME: 3:14

Recorded by David Gedge (singing. electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, tambourine), Sally Murrell (backing vocals), Terry de Castro (bass), Richard Marcangelo (drums), Abigail Trundle (cello) and Susan Bowran (violin)

2 – Seven Wonders of the World acoustic version [SCOPITONES TONE CD 051] recorded 2009 for a KRTU – San Antonia USA radio session released 08/09/2014 TIME: 2:58

Recorded by David Gedge (guitar and singing), Terry de Castro (guitar, bass and backing vocals)

Live:

The Wedding Present played this song during their Autumn tour of 2007.

Oddity:

I couldn’t find a decent video of the song so for now here’s this:

Get Smart

The first Cinerama song for this blog to tackle and it’s a largely forgotten album track from the otherwise remarkable Torino. It was premiered a year earlier in a John Peel Session that was first broadcast on the 24th May 2001 alongside three other songs that went on to be singles. Likewise on Torino it’s track 12, sandwiched between the magnificent Get Up And Go  and Health and Efficiency. So it’s understandable if not many fans talk about it much, added to the fact that it’s rarely been played live so it’s not really built up much of a following. The title doesn’t appear in the lyrics although it is obliquely referencing the theme of the song. The title was probably influenced by the American TV show of the same name from the late sixties (see below, I was right!). It was a spoof spy series created by Mel Brooks and starring Don Adams. Certainly not the only Gedge song to have a spy-influenced title.

The song is told from a rather weird angle as the narrator is talking to his partner telling them that if they want to keep having an affair, that’s fine, just be more discreet. The slightly confusing thing about all this is that he doesn’t seem all that angry or upset by the conversation. After all, he tells them not to “flip”. Is he just so in love with this person that he will put with anything as long as it isn’t made obvious? It’s not an argument that seems rational by any means but I guess love can do funny things to people. My favourite lyric in the piece comes in the form of the wonderful couplet: “This hanging up without him saying a word / Was maybe fine just once but it’s becoming absurd”. Accurate, funny and a joy to hear. Vocally, Gedge set his sights (and his vocal chords) high here with some falsetto notes in places. Not sure it works to be honest but I love his bravery in trying.

Gedge co-wrote this song with Simon Cleave and his distinctive playing dominates the instrumental sections with some lovely Spanish guitar twanging. There are some beautiful strings that swing us along and Kari Paavola added his flare to the percussion. Please note: there are also bongos! A really nice addition to the Torino  version were the haunting backing vocals that Terry de Castro does in the final chorus before the flute kicks in to take us to the end.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

Why is the song called ‘Get Smart’? 

DLG: It’s my little nod to the classic 1960s American TV comedy series of the same name. It was a James Bond spoof, created by Mel Brooks, which I adored as kid.

The Torino version changes a fair bit from the earlier Peel Session.

DLG:  Well, of course, we used Peel Sessions as a way of recording ‘works in progress’ [as Peel himself used to call them] so I was bound to use the opportunity to improve the arrangement in between the BBC and our own sessions. I remember that we hadn’t thought about adding backing vocals to this when we were at Maida Vale, but the main thing I wanted to add, when we recorded the Scopitones version, was a feeling of 1960s ‘grooviness’, if there’s such a word! So we brought in Mat Pharaoh to play bongos and Duncan Bridgeman to add a killer flute solo over the end section. Both were colleagues of one of Cinerama’s go-to recording engineers, Dare Mason, but Duncan’s actually a renowned record producer in his own right. Neither Simon Cleave [or John Peel!] shared my affection for a good flute part but I think it really transforms the end section.

Any general thoughts on the song?

DLG: I’m fond of the little details in the lyric… like the hair in the bed and the credit card receipt… which lead you to believe that the narrator is slightly obsessive… as well as being a bit pitiable!

Is there anything you would change about the song now?

DLG: I think I could have been slightly more sparing with the amount of falsetto singing I use.

The song comes from a very unusual viewpoint of a man wanting his partner to keep her affair hidden better. Do you know anyone that’s ever actually acted like this?

DLG:  I never discuss lyric sources but I do think this to be a thought-provoking scenario… purposely turning a blind eye, so to speak. And I think we’ve all turned a blind eye!

Official Lyrics

I heard exactly what you said but I know that he slept in our bed
You should really take more care because all it took was a single hair

How would you, how could you not think that I’d realise?!
You must know you’re just so terrible at telling lies

And did you really think I might not find out where you were last night?
Believe me, darling, it wasn’t hard, when you paid for the meal on your credit card!

No, don’t flip, here’s a tip: all it needs is a little thought
This will surprise you but I don’t want you to get caught

That’s a price that I’ll pay to stop you going away
Keep telling your lies
I won’t criticise if it means you will stay

And you should probably tell him not to ’phone unless you’re sure that you are going to be alone
This hanging up without him saying a word was maybe fine just once, but it’s becoming absurd

No, don’t flip, here’s a tip: all it needs is a little thought
This will surprise you but I don’t want you to get caught

That’s a price that I’ll pay to stop you going away
Keep telling your lies
I won’t criticise if it means you will stay

That’s a price that I’ll pay to stop you going away
Keep telling your lies
I won’t criticise if it means you will stay

That’s a price that I’ll pay to stop you going away
Keep telling your lies
I won’t criticise if it means you will stay

Written and by Gedge [whose publishing is administered outside of the UK & Eire by Fintage Publishing BV] and Cleave [Complete Music].

Studio Versions:

1 – Peel Sessions: Season 2 [SCOPITONES TONE CD 014] recorded 13/05/2001, broadcast 24/05/2001 TIME: 3:27

Recorded by David Gedge (guitar and singing), Sally Murrell (keyboards and backing vocals), Simon Cleave (guitar), Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals), Kari Paavola (drums), Philip Robinson (flute), Andrew Black (trumpet), Abigail Trundle (cello), William Davis (violin), Mike Engles (producer), Jamie Hart (engineer)

Peel Sessions Season 2
Peel Sessions Season 2

2 – Torino version released 01/07/2002 [Scopitones TONE CD 11] TIME: 3:31

Recorded by David Gedge (guitar, singing, producer & string arrangement), Sally Murrell (keyboards and backing vocals), Simon Cleave (guitar & producer), Terry de Castro (bass and backing vocals), Kari Paavola (drums), Allen Samuel (violin and viola), Rachel Davis (violin), Theresa Whipple (viola), Abigail Trundle (cello), Rachel Didcock (cello), Ian Williams (trumpet), Christopher Hortin (french horn), Duncan Bridgeman (flute), Mat Pharaoh (bongos), Steve Albini (producer), Dare Mason (mixer)

Torino
Torino

Live:

As mentioned above, it hasn’t been played live very much although it has made the occasional appearance as seen below.

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f4ETzPRq4w8