These aren’t the Street of New Orleans

This song was originally inspired by idea that I might be able to write a song to appeal directly to another’s sense of taste; namely my good friend Erik. I was trying to work towards a dirty bluesy tune, with over tones of harshness ones might find in a Fall song.

He had also previously suggest I stick to writing lyrics about girls and cars, as I tend not to. I struck on the idea (after a joke from Erik about UK cars), to tell the Story of my youth and cars, and those of people around me, a little different to that of the American ideal that’s sold about such like. At the time we felt we were cruising and prowling these dark neon filled streets, often in the rain, some kind of wild predatory animals, not actually the sad youths we actually were. But, I felt sorry for us, so I tired to inject a sense of that prowling into the main riff, make us a bit cooler sounding than the lyrics suggest.

Once I had this, it was a case of filling in the story and recording it.  I always like the way an American lyricist can mention a city or place in a song, and it sounds cool, like this bold statement of what you are and where you are from, in a fresh new way. But I think that sounds so… well just shit, for the most part about the UK. Maybe its familiarity, but I can only really think of the Clash and Mark E Smith ever pulling it off, without sounding trite. Usually these American places are used in a positive way, but the riff, and the seedy menace I had weren’t gonna work, and anyway, this was Cumbria, Kendal and Morecambe here… and that was when it clicked. These aren’t the street of New Orleans, or the lights of Bright LA, this isn’t a mustang, there is no sunshine, I don’t know what soroities are, or what a jock is, unless its still a scotsman. We have been looking at this paradigm of how things are supposed to be over the sea there, half playing at them in what surrounded us. When I had the negative turnaround, and the wistfullness of this crap we were doing as teenagers, it was easy.

The initial Demo was all done in a bare few takes, and through some fairly rudimentary gear on purpose. I felt this edginess would appeal to my targets sensibilities, and also seemed appropriate as the stereos we listened to music on, were the cheapest bits of crap known to man, until I got a pioneer, but that’s another story.

I enjoyed the process, and I like the song. Apologies for the video, I just used a few of the photographs of the winter and dark I took last year as video filler and crudely cut them in.


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