Week 14 – The Birds (4am)
by Frank Hamilton
For some reason it feels like ages since we last spoke but by definition it can’t be more than a week. Either it’s been another tiring journey from LE to JOG (we’re abbreviating now, keep up) or I’m officially losing all concept of time and space. Let’s be honest, both are pretty plausible.
Happy Easter by the way. I hope you’re spending the weekend somewhere nice with an endless supply of chocolate and hot cross buns. I’ll be celebrating Jesus’ death in the comfort of my lounge/studio – working on next weeks song so I don’t get caught short when tour begins on Tuesday.
I say tour, it’s more like a cluster of dates – here they are. I’ll also be doing a couple of living rooms shows in the days between (organising those this weekend) so if you’d like to get involved and haven’t already done so you need to read this status and email email@example.com. As if that’s not enough excitement I’ve also just spent more than half the money in my bank on merchandise. I’ll be selling t-shirts (for the first time ever), lighter/bottle openers, badges and a host of other things you don’t need but should probably buy anyway!
So week 14 started with a bang (literally). It was Wednesday night and I’d just started recording this weeks song when a loud noise invaded my ear drums and shook the walls of my house. I had a peek outside and everything seemed fine… so I carried on.
An hour or so later and I’d programmed some piano and recorded a guide vocal before making the awful discovery that there was no milk in the fridge. And so began the scariest 10 minutes of 2012 so far…
I put on my shoes, picked up my keys and walked outside to find an eerie silence. Straight away I noticed there was only one car parked in the street (it’s usually full) and after a few more paces I spotted the police tape at the end of my road. I wasn’t sure what had happened (there were no people, let alone policemen, to ask) but it was apparent I couldn’t get through so I did a 180 heel-spin and began walking back towards my front door.
While searching my pockets for the keys I’d just been holding (I spend at least 3% of my life doing this) I heard the sound of sirens coming from around the corner and poked my head round just in time to see a police car speed off into the distance – leaving behind it another street with few cars, no people and yet more police tape.
The reality soon dawned on me. I was stuck inside a no-safe zone. Alone… and probably not safe. Fuck.
Something bad had happened (presumably some sort of chemical-based terror attack) and the police had sealed off the area before getting the hell of out there. As far as I knew me and my flat were the only one’s left standing in the whole of Lambeth (maybe even London/the world). It definitely wasn’t supposed to end like this.
Needless to say I wasn’t sure what to do so I went back inside (where it felt marginally safer) and paced around for a few minutes before consulting twitter. It was decided that if this was to be the end I should at least be well informed and possibly even put up a bit of a fight so I put my shoes back on, said goodbye to myself in the full length mirror by my front door… and went out to face reality.
Of course it transpired to be a lot of fuss about nothing. There had been a fire/gas explosion at Sainsburys supermarket and there were no terrorists (at least not any active ones) in SW4. I looked up at the night sky and let out a little smile, happy to be alive… before deciding that Londis was probably a better place to go for milk than Sainsburys – given the circumstances.
Ok, let’s move on to all things musical. Last week myself and Danica Hunter joined forces to bring you an upbeat break-up song about a weekend. I went a bit ‘piano loco’ with the production and we also did a nice little acoustic version for ‘The Car Park Sessions’ (which you can see by clicking here).
This week I’m flying solo again and presenting you with another break-up song – only this one’s not so upbeat. I’ve gone ‘back to basics’ with the production (acoustic, piano and no drum programming!) although I did have a lot of fun with the electric guitars. I’ve always wanted to be in an indie band… can you tell?!
I like the pre-chorus (which stemmed from another song called ‘Standing On Your Street’) but it’s the first verse that I like most.
“4am and the birds are singing songs that I don’t know,
But I don’t wanna sleep until you come home.
Wide awake for days I’m eating breakfast on my own,
Running out of milk and running out of hope.”
The opening lyric is about sitting in bed at 4am and listening to the birds through the window – something I find myself doing at least once a week. The second line is about denial, petulance, stubbornness or a combination of all three that brings about a ridiculous (but really quite sweet) show of affection. The third line develops on the second and talks about eating ‘Breakfast on my Own’ (another song you’ll hear about soon enough) before the fourth one talks about milk (which you can buy from Sainsburys) and hope (which you can’t).