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The Children
(TP1000, 2007)


Sample track Democracy


Songs of unrest

When we first started picking out the songs for this album, back in 2005, we didn’t realise how quickly they’d become topical, what with rising political unrest and deepening economic crisis and the steady worsening of nature. Perhaps we were influenced by the tough place we'd been living for seven years. Still we wanted a music to antidote your troubles rather than adding to them. There’ll be ructions tonight but there’s hope yet.

The recording spanned the period when we moved with our Tipi Studio from the grinding vortex of the Elephant & Castle to a new pitch among the wooded hills of London’s deep south (to dig our potatoes in the shadow of the Crystal Palace). The core performance is our live duo – bass, guitar and voices. Then one or two other players contribute to each track: the sensitive snare and cymbals of Paul Barrett, for example, and the salty concertina of Kath Tait; or the Arabic drumming of Dunstan Clarke with the Spanish-tinged trumpet of Terry Edwards, bringing out the colours in the atmosphere of the songs.

The basic tracks were done down there in the carbon shadow of the New Kent Road. Finishing touches, mixing and mastering took place with the sun, or more likely the moonlight, filtering down through the Norwood oaks onto our long-serving Akai 12-track.

The musicians

Armorel Weston, voice, bass, percussion
John Gibbens, voice, guitar, keyboards
Paul Barrett, snare drum and cymbals
Dunstan Clarke, darbuka
Terry Edwards, trumpet, cornet
Hayereyah, harmonica on ‘Hope Yet’
Charlie Kronick, mandolin
Niall McDevitt, bodhran
Rob Mason, harmonica on ‘Western Civilisation’
Kath Tait, concertina, harmonica on ‘The Base’

Lyrics and audio clips

Democracy Is the queen of hearts [MP3 audio clip] [YouTube]

Western Civilisation All aboard and away we go, stick with me till the fuel runs out [MP3 audio clip]

Hope Yet Come down the mountain, bring what you found there

Are You Now (Or Have You Ever Been)? They said keep out of the firing line if you cannot stand the heat

Working on the Problem While we hang around things just get ropier. They said full speed ahead for Utopia

Mother and Child She looks up into the sky that's filled with darkness, and she looks away from Mecca to the West [MP3 audio clip]

Sea People They never worked a day or made a thing [MP3 audio clip]

The Base They cried out the chances are slimming and there’s nobody here but us women

Ructions God help those who help the rest and devil take the careless [YouTube]

Not the End of the World When it seems like half your friends are missing persons [MP3 audio clip]


Mud Maid at Heligan, Cornwall, by Sue & Peter Hill, photo by John Gibbens.
Album cover photo of hands by the late, great Burhan Tufail.

“They got kicked and cursed,
They surely got treated like dirt,
And they won in the name of peace”

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