Week 8 – ‘Make Things Make Sense’
by Frank Hamilton
University was over and Guildford was looking bleak. I’d just split up with a girl (and written a song about it – see week 2) and geographical progression was becoming inevitable. Like many before me I packed up my underwear, guitar and smartphone and set off to find fame and fortune (or at least a rebound shag) in London town.
Having spent a large portion of the preceding months in Clapham making the ‘You, Your Cat & Me’ EP I decided that would be a logical place to start looking – so I set about finding a room on gumtree (an awful process which took over 10 trips to London in less than two weeks) and eventually moved in with seven Australians*.
*It was five Australians and two Kiwis, but let’s pretend they were all born in Sydney.
There was Holly and Andy – an annoyingly good looking couple who were always laughing. David – a massive Death Cab for Cutie and Nottingham Forest fan who had the hots for Ceridwyn – a banterful pigme whose personality made up for her lack of height. Anna – a fitness freak who was always partying and finally Sarah and Laura – two butch lesbians (one of whom worked for Dyson**) who’s kindness, cooking and love of Miami Ink I will never forget.
**There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Despite the fact I was a few years younger and from a different hemisphere I was made to feel incredibly welcome (so much so I started smoking out the window in my bedroom instead of going outside) but I still wasn’t enjoying London as much as I thought I would. It was big, rainy, cold… and I definitely wasn’t getting laid.
Make Things Make Sense is about the night that all started to change…
It was my 4th and most frustrating Monday in London and I finished recording around 6 before coming home to cook up a pizza. Some of the Australians were off to a pub quiz and I decided to tag along…
Rounds one, two and three went well (on both quiz and alcohol fronts) but somewhere between rounds four and five my ‘A-game’ was disrupted by a chance meeting at the bar.
She was super cute, had heard of Elvis Costello and also happened to be new in London – which gave us enough to work with until closing time when I rolled her my last cigarette, walked her home in the pissing rain and had my first fumble as a Londoner.
We only saw each other for a few weeks before the marriage of convenience ended and we got on with our respective lives but I’ll never forget how much those few weeks helped me to make (slightly more) sense of life in the big city.
Being one of 11 million people isn’t always as exciting as it sounds. For such a busy place London can often feel very lonely but it’s evenings like my 4th Monday in town that teach us to think differently and put things in perspective.
There are 10,999,999 other people in this city who are also just one of 11 million. A comforting (and ridiculously exciting) thought.
The first few verses are about giving away my last cigarette and walking home from the pub quiz but it’s the third verse (about someone making you feel nervous in the best possible way) I like the most. That said it’s not a patch on the chorus – which sums the whole thing up…
‘Talking, oh how this city brings you down
Thinking, that we both need someone else around
To make things make sense. To make things make sense.’
It’s a simple concept but it took a pretty girl to make me realise it. The world’s a mighty big place and there’s an awful lot of people wandering around. What’s more, some of them are just like me – an even scarier (but still ridiculously exciting) thought!