The music of the spheres.
We’re up to Number 4 in the Top Ten Songs Spotify Says Steve’s Stats Show. or something. This song is A Very British Ending from the What Would You Die For? EP.
I’m made up this song has proved so popular. Popular in relative terms. Almost 10 years ago me and some mates trotted off once a week to a Stockport suburb to learn barbershop singing and we eventually started an Acapulco group named, gloriously, Hot Glossop. Ta, Neil. One of our number, Gary, is no longer with us and we all desperately miss his humour, his keen intelligence and his ‘checking for a bra strap’ hugs. What a lovely friend, life is cruel.
Gary’s on this song. I took the demo to a Hot Glossop practice and I can hear his nasal tones in the opening ‘Very British Ending’. I’m so happy he’s on it.
I wrote the song directly after reading a novel by the brilliant writer Edward Wilson. The tale is based on the legend (maybe true) surrounding a possible coup to remove Harold Wilson, the Labour Prime Minister, from power in the 1970’s.
Harold Wilson was a grammar school boy who, it seemed, was in and out of power every other week in a kind of yo-yo government game played with Tory Edward Heath.
As a kid I loved Wilson. He represented a constituency merely miles away (Huyton Huyton, two dogs fightin’) and he was easily impersonated. He affected to smoke a pipe to seem more working class. A bit like Tony Blair taking off his tie, rolling up the sleeves on his starched white shirt, and playing ‘togger’ in some P.F.I. financed hospital car park, but not as cringe.
The establishment hated Wilson. He was seen as this infra dig oik who went to a less than sound college at Oxford and his vowels were far too street. He was accused of being a Soviet agent and was continually under investigation by the secret intelligence services. The Americans were convinced that’s why he kept the UK out of Vietnam. Edward Wilson’s (no relation) novel is a tour de force espionage thriller that throws a great big light on just how much your school matters. To THEM.
I demo’d the song and Craig suggested I turn some of the chords around in the verses, a genius idea I believe. It gives it great movement. I played the keyboards and acoustics, while Craig does the crafty and slinky electric guitar and bass. Craig also added the manic laughter in the middle. I’ve alway assumed it’s a sample, but you can never be sure with Craig…
The whole song has a jaunty humour to it and I’m sure Gary would approve.
If you’d like to listen, the link below can direct you to the streaming service of your choice.