Here There Be Demons

by The Crows Of Albion

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1.
The Crooked Beast At The End Of A Crooked Path I saw him rise like a dark spectre in the clouds at the end of a crooked path his horned head cocked spreading his cloven claws astride the graves that nestled safe beneath the trees his wings unfurling across the sky and gathering in the long dead souls beneath the ground and I thought I heard the demon say “I told you I would not forget you lying here out of sight” but maybe it was the wind soughing in the skeletal trees and blowing away the thunderheads or perhaps the silent prayer upon my lips for when I blinked they were only clouds again and the crooked beast at the end of the crooked path had taken flight as I left I passed the wooden sign proclaiming: 'HERE THERE BE DEMONS'
2.
Something To Say. I’ve got something to say about everything - the bloody Tories and the bloody liberals and that blood Farage with his bloody racism and what about the bloody workers and stop the bloody NHS cuts, give us all a bloody living wage, stop the bloody bankers bonuses, plenty to say about benefits Britain about the state of the nation, about the house of lords, about fracking and climate and the EDL. But when it comes to the election I can’t be arsed getting off my arse to place a cross. I’ve got something to say about everything - X Factor, Pop Idol, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly Come Dancing, Eurovision. I like to feel I’ve got a say in who wins ‘cos it really matters when most of them are wankers. Plenty to say about Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice and anything to do with talented pets, ‘cos you don’t want the winners to be acts you don’t like, so I get on the phone and vote for the best. But when it comes to the election I can’t be arsed getting off my arse to place a cross. I’ve got something to say about everything - Conservatives, Labour, Liberals and UKIP, The Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP. Plenty to say about the Fascists, the Communists, the Nazis, the Unionists and all the bloody others. I can’t stand snobs, the elite, the bankers, the House Of Commons or the House Of Lords. I’ve got plenty to say about Maggie bloody Thatcher, Tony bloody Blair and Arthur bloody Scargill. If I bloody voted I wouldn’t vote for bloody them. But when it comes to the election I can’t be arsed getting off my arse To place a cross I’ve got something to say about everything - Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Protestants too. Plenty to say about Pacifists, Atheists, Agnostics, Criminals, Judges, the Police and the Courts, cancer treatments, euthanasia, miracle cures, holistic remedies, drugs and alcohol, legal highs, illegal, lows, masturbation, prostitution, paedophiles and rapists. Plenty to say about what we should do with all of them. But when it comes to the election I can’t be arsed getting off my arse To place a cross. I’ve got something to say about everything - but on election day I HAVE NO VOICE
3.
The Revolution Starts Now I was walkin' down the street In the town where I was born I was movin' to a beat That I'd never felt before So I opened up my eyes And I took a look around I saw it written 'cross the sky The revolution starts now Yeah, the revolution starts now The revolution starts now When you rise above your fear And tear the walls around you down The revolution starts here Where you work and where you play Where you lay your money down What you do and what you say The revolution starts now Yeah the revolution starts now Yeah the revolution starts now In your own backyard In your own hometown So what you doin' standin' around? Just follow your heart The revolution starts now Last night I had a dream That the world had turned around And all our hopes had come to be And the people gathered 'round They all brought what they could bring And nobody went without And I learned a song to sing The revolution starts now
4.
Broad Is The Road & Wide Is The Gate A sky bleached like old bones dug from damp earth on an autumn morning. The pale sun spits on car roofs in a Northern town where colours hide behind a sheen of grey. Tram tracks, like silver trails of slugs, pacing the slowly walking midnight man. Something ancient and horrid has left a double-mustard trail of crumbs for him to follow, but never stop upon. He is nothing in this dystopian landscape - featureless, amorphous except for outline. His progress marked out by lines on the kerb. Each waypoint - a little closer to the grave. Grotesque shadows disembowel before him, letting loose the dizzy demons he keeps hidden. The streetlamps and chimneys point at the sky like minarets to a forgotten god. Footsteps echoing and bouncing down a path of shredded hopes and dreams. And when those slow, heavy feet come down the pavement shakes and dust drops from the clouds. Decrepit wire meshing, strung from rusty pillars, keep the ghosts of the working class confined. A wooden wall, built higher than a fort, to stop the downtrodden seeing what is beyond. Aerials pointing the way to salvation, mocking the deaf and dumb and blind. Behind ramshackle bricks, a den of vans and cars growl at the injustice of their confinement. In the distance, two black spectres wait to harvest the souls of those who fall by the wayside. And then, there is something alive in the murk, something that cuts the air with a knife of humanity. The darkness recedes and sunlight splashes everything, to the sound of a nervous, tuneless whistle. There is a fleeting moment of being alive and relishing the dance macabre, until he sees the gaping maw and gnashing teeth of the back breaking gates to the factory.
5.
Drax (The Dragon & The Samurai) They huff and puff their plumes of heated breath into an atmosphere already raw. These earthbound dragons, guarding nests of death, fighting for dominance with tooth and claw. Their carbon offspring doze beneath their feet or bleed out into nuclear decay - a fair trade for their gifts of light and heat? Perhaps we will regret that choice one day. For what is this? A champion in white with spinning arms and blades as sharp as swords, an ecological Samurai knight come to slay the wheezing wyrm cancer Lords. Yet they are turned away and shunned by those who prefer silence when the wild wind blows.
6.
Redemption 02:51
Redemption The black soul of a sinner, in a numbing amphetamine haze, listens to the screech of bats and considers his end of days. Sitting in the suicide dark in Marion County, Tennessee, he has followed the stumbling ghosts of the Chickamauga Cherokee. He listens to the whispering water tempting him in that cave where he thinks no one will find him to lay flowers on his grave. Yet, something happens to him at the depths of his despair a flame, he will later call God, engulfs his body there and he crawls out of the tunnels into the rapturous light - saved from the darkness and given a cause to fight. Trial and tribulation saved the man in black and led him to redemption in the cave at Nickajack.
7.
Under The Bridge hunched up like a demon grotesque and out of shape tip tip tapping on the keyboard mouth permanently agape looking for hurt and misery searching out the weak twisted soul and brainless an ever growing clique devouring our innocence inflicting further pain they look for human tragedy their claws dig in again we cannot understand them so we underestimate their capacity for terror and a percolating hate seeking out the dying the ill and the bereaved then spilling vile poison on those that we have grieved they are less than human as they tip tip tap away behind a web of darkness anonymous and grey the troll wheezes laughter at the hurt that he has wrought he thinks he is all conquering he thinks he can’t be caught but he’s just an ugly fucker who nobody will like when justice is administered and his head is on a spike hunched up like a demon grotesque and out of shape tip tip tapping on the keyboard mouth permanently agape and as we know from fairy tales trolls are loved by none and humanity will slaughter them one by one by one
8.
The Walkin’ Man Serendipity Spangle was a walkin’ man - of that, there is no doubt, he walked across great continents and was seen round here about. With his low slung jeans and guitar, he had no need for fancy suits, he just roamed the great blue yonder in his worn down cowboy boots . Those who were there at his birth cross their hearts and tell no lies - they say he came into this world singing and walked straight from his mammas thighs out into the dustbowl road out there where he promptly disappeared into the heart of America and was folk and country reared. CHORUS: You hear his footsteps echoing along these highways of dust when Bob or Bruce or Pete Seeger ask you to place your trust in poetry and a guitar and a minstrel of the road. Serendipity Spangle will help you carry your heavy load. He walked the fields of Gettysburg, dried the tears of the crying. He strolled the trenches of the Somme and comforted the dying. He raised the flag at Iwo Jima, hung his head at Nagasaki, stirred the spirit in Vietnam - his heart is red and khaki. He’s been around a long, long time and many times he’s died, but he walks into the valley of the shadow of death and comes out the other side with a pale horse trailing behind him, riderless and out of breath, Serendipity Spangle always wins the wrestle with Death. For the poor, the weak, the hopeless - he will pacify the soul, the depressed, the hurt, the dispossessed - chew it up and swallow it whole. With his raging songs of freedom, you will hear the old folk talk, of the time that Serendipity Spangle stopped by on his long walk. A lonely figure steps out and walks into the moon at the top of a country road, whistling a mournful tune. When the sun rises tomorrow his footsteps will have blown away on a warm and soothing prairie breeze. Walkin’ into another day. For Pete Seeger (May 3rd 1919 – January 27th 2014)
9.
Fields Of Carbon And Blood You praised as they died in their dugouts for a cause proclaimed honest and true. No mention of cowards or traitors - a justified war to see through. Now you mock the bravest of fighters who live to bring coal from the earth. Not bully-boyed in to your armies - but pushed down the pits after birth. CHORUS: As the right wing tabloids spawn rumours in an effort to turn husband from wife. For the Tories all this is a policy, for the miner the fight is for life. They ask for no medals, or glory, just an honest days pay for a job, yet you spit on the faces of children whose daddies are branded ‘the mob’. When you sit warm and cosy in winter, before fires of amber and red – some starving infant, this Christmas, will pray for the day it is fed. After the bath she used to drag black worms of coal dust from the corner of his eyes. He has never cried, though sometimes - when he thinks back - for no apparent reason he finds charcoal on his cheeks. He is clean now, though for many years every crease and wrinkle on his angry forehead was gritted with carbon hate. Where once stood a newsagents on the corner - there now stands a Polish grocery store selling Polish coke. Where the pit head stood nothing grows except the straw coloured chaff of broken promises around the concrete bases of solidarity. The bitter resentment still twists like a ragged knife to his heart. He still picks at the scabs. Pledging, once again, to never forgive the vindictive bitch who broke the back of Fryston.
10.
Here There Be Demons there is a small terraced house on the dark side of Benefit Street where a mother lies with cancer and a child has nothing to eat where a father kicks anything that moves whether wife of child or dog then drowns himself in self pity and rancid numbing grog when he leaves he leaves a hole as wide as any pit and a family who cannot cope without their benefit it pays a pittance for their hurts and helps to keep them fed a little heat a little light a roof over their head. CHORUS: the TV in the corner spews its Tory game it makes them hide from neighbours to camouflage their shame they merge into the wallpaper never to be seen they become mere shadows of all that they have been. some bitch with too much bitching wants to paint them all as scum for having tattooed arms and dogs in their home made slum while she sits as judge and jury sipping room temperature champagne they feed themselves at food banks and survive on out of date pain so when you read your Daily Mail and absorb its poisoned views be thankful that your job is safe, that you can afford new shoes. the TV in the corner is feeding you with shit In the name of entertainment. so where’s the benefit? don’t tar the weak and needy with your damned righteous brush show them some humanity don’t look to blame and crush their hopes and dreams of betterment because you have been fed by right wing program makers who remain morally dead no one on that side of the street will be voting for the Tories so it’s safe for the government to concoct their little stories. shame on you for falling for the demons that they create in the vulnerable non-working class they’ve blinded you with hate
11.
Encounter (Road Kill). A black crow struts down the central reservation, pecking at the remnants of undefined road-kill. The white dotted line stretches out forever – reminds me of the perforated slip on a tax form – something that’s required but causes great effort to tear along regardless, and sod the consequence. A lemon-curd sandwich, parked in the lay-by, switches on its camera and zooms for a close-up. I glance at the dials and press on the brake pedal – even though I’m under the legal requirement a pang of guilt eats its way into my conscience and many miles later I’m still checking in the mirrors. Steve Earle blasts from the in-car CD, tells me of the trials of travelling The Highway in sun-bleached Memphis where the black-top’s melting – while here on the Pennines the sleet is falling. My mind is out there on a black and silver Harley, not cooped up in a Nissan with a whistling windscreen. A red BMW pulls up to my bumper, its lights ablaze and tyres screaming. His hands don’t seem to be in contact with the wheel – one tugs at the hair, while the other is waving, erect middle digit thrust in the air – the universal badge of a brain-dead schizo. I subtly avoid his bulging eyeballs, veins that stand out like worms on a mirror. He wants to hurt me, to torture and kill me for being in the way of his manic agenda - and as he hurtles by, doing ninety miles an hour, I switch on the wipers and slash away his slush. The overhead signs demand I slow to thirty, roadworks ahead and hazardous conditions. Despite all the warnings, some will not listen. As I draw closer, I’m not surprised to see his burnt rubber path clearly visible - leading to a blazing, crimson coffin.
12.
Song Of The Wandering In darkness deeper than the mine where, once, I scraped my fingers to the bone a silver seam of moonlight breaks across the boiling blackness and I let those self same fingers idly trail in the cold Mediterranean. I dream of the golden sunlight left behind in the dust, distress and bullets. That was then and this is now. The churning sea, the angry orders snapped at us in foreign tongues. The smell of fear permeates this shanty-boat. I drowse and dream of figs and apples, sweetness quenching the arid desert mouth of this poor orphan cast adrift upon a ship of dreams. Like fish in open boxes we lie back to back, tightly packed Into the wooden crate that bears its cargo to the free world where, they promise, we will be safe. We sing ancestral hymns, learned from nuns in schools under African skies, who all lay dead beneath the soldiers boots. Songs of the wandering. The crossing of oceans - first Saharan, then the tides. Buying a future that cannot be foretold even though they call these vessels ‘Zodiacs’. Counterpoint rhythms of futile calls to God to save us from this undulating hell and lead us to redemption. A creak… a groan… wetness rushes into the mass… we move… it rolls and all is lost…
13.
Arroyo 04:31
Arroyo The rain has fallen down for twenty hours from a dead sky of slate and granite hews, dampening the walls of urban towers. Cobbled streets the colour of an old bruise, tyres rattle over pothole dark drains, counterpoint to some distant splashing shoes. The day cast in monochromatic stains as water forms itself into a lake that eddies into inner city lanes. A passing car creates a trash-spume wake of leaves, crisp packets, cartons and sad hope cascading from the daily give and take. Inside the office block a girl finds soap, then washes off the filth of wet with wet and wonders how the homeless people cope. It looks as though this dismal weather’s set to last for days and soak into their bones, how saturated can an old coat get? Beside the tarn the flow overturns stones, masking the sodden cardboard box of groans.
14.
All Hallows' Eve Gnarled tree roots claw from the ground scratching over disturbed graves. Pumpkins grin their toothless snarl, fleshy tongues of seed and fibre. The spectral drift of chilling mist that prods and pokes at exposed flesh. Somewhere a creature of the dark night mewls in whimpering ecstasy Dank leaves of autumn line the paths as little demons run around dodging from house to pretty house until the cottage on the hill is all that’s left to fill their buckets. Greed overcomes the gnawing fear, they jostle to avoid the choice of who will trespass the witches lair The children come in squealing terror wrapped in clothes of heavy gauge their flashlights shaking from the cold that permeates their winter coats. A brave one steps up to the door and taps upon it, breath held tight, the others cower by the gate and watch for movement in the house She sits and stirs a boiling pot that gurgles, splutters, coughs and gargles, into it she drops dark things that wriggle to escape the boiling. Muttering in ancient words that coil and twist as if alive. Moonlight seeps from broken panes washing all in filthy light. There are no mirrors in this house, no beauty, flowers, scent or joy, only dust and memories of days when things were not this way. She has lived for many years alone except upon this night when company knocks at her door and welcomes all she keeps inside. Her smile is ancient and all knowing, she cocks her head and sniffs the air “Young flesh come to my humble door” creaks from her lips of brittle leaves. She stands and stoops to turn the latch, a wet chuckle for inhaled breath she catches from the other side as slowly swings the opening door. Come face to face with all his fears, her hair of cobwebs blowing wild upon the chill October air. He turns to run but cannot move, his friends scream loud and run away never looking back to see the treat bestowed upon the fool who disturbed her on this hallows eve.
15.
Natural Selection Outbound I look at them they look at me through glassy eyes that never see we’ve shared this carriage many years never sharing hopes or fears I swiftly pass the guarded gate and check my watch in case I’m late despite producing dog-eared ticket the blank faced guardsman doesn’t click it I side step gran’s with shopping bags and hands that plead from piles of rags fat businessmen in rain drenched suits and pretty girls in thigh length boots rehearsing each spontaneous line the interview begins at nine my suit is black and very smart shop windows whisper “just the part” Return I look at them they look at me through x-ray eyes I know they see my bitter onion of cares they relish peeling back the layers a question asked a swift reply a sadness seeing grown men cry a pungent odour seeps and lingers on my disappointed fingers the journey home seems twice as long I bump and grind the milling throng the guardsman smiles a knowing smile hands withdraw into the rag pile fat businessmen with pretty girls shiny foreheads golden curls my suit is damp with dismal rain it’s job rejection time again
16.
Old School Tie It’s very smart In blue silk, with snazzy turquoise stripes. When daddy gave it to me my first words were “blimey!, cripes!” I couldn’t wait to get it around my scrawny throat, it went so well with all my gear especially the tail coat. It made my chin more obvious, I hadn’t known I had one. It made the fags subservient to get done what should be done. It made me feel important, It made me feel a toff, It made me come a thousand times while I was tossing off. I wore it with a certain pride that oiks wouldn’t understand. It taught me how to be a twat, devious and underhand. Then when I got much older it opened many doors for those, like me, who wore it - not the raggle-taggle poor. Now I’m sat in Downing Street, a smug look on my face. I may not be a Nazi but I’m one of the master race. I wear my tie around my eyes, It blinds me from the truth, of the poor, the old, the dispossessed, the jobless, hopeless youth. Many wish me harm for failing all but class - well let me tell you poor folk you can kiss my Tory ass! For you will never get me, no matter how you try, it’s impossible to strangle bastards with the old school tie.
17.
Children Of The Glamned We found out all we knew about sex in Youth Clubs and the disco-teques grinding slowly to T-Rex pumping from the Teac decks then with Pans People our flames were fanned we were the children of the glamned. The photo-shoots - cheesy and tacky in the pop filled pages of the Jackie sucking on the wacky-baccy Saving for a Kawasaki we whammed, we bammed, we shang-a-langed we were the children of the glamned. Ziggy played guitar and pouted Slade stomped their feet and chuffing shouted Sweet were brickies, over-grouted, pretty boys, we never doubted. while Suzi Quatro Can The Canned we were the children of the glamned. Playing football in our platform boots girlfriends bragged, “Oh ain’t he cute?!” dressed to the nines in lurex suits peroxide blonde, dying our roots. Alice Cooper, drawn, quartered, hanged we were the children of the glamned. Watching Magpie’s Susan Stranks the root cause of a thousand wanks but no doubt there were way more thanks for Sally James and her Tiswas pranks our eyesight was forever damned we were the children of the glamned. We danced to that stupid Chinnichap beat that shuffled from Mud’s Tiger Feet we dipped our shoulders, hips to greet and thought we looked so bloody neat Alvin Stardust’s leather clad hand we were the children of the glamned. The stardust memories slowly fade like Mott The Hoople behind shades remember all the dreams we made on Sherbet dibs and lemonade we were tinsel gods and never bland we were the children of the glamned Punk drew itself from glam rock glitter sucked on the Sweet and made it bitter Motley Crue learned from their baby sitter to apply the make up – jive and jitter so those faded teens could make one last stand We ARE the children of the glamned.
18.
The Westgate Run. Upon the Merrie Cities oldest street when twilight creeps across the Yorkshire sky, traditionally friends and strangers meet and let the velvet darkness pass them by. In pictures from a dim and distant past, as gaslight spilled from heavy shadowed doors, to neon tinted bars of Friday last the sound of liquid laughter gently pours. CHORUS: Perhaps these cobbled streets hold no surprise to those who visit here upon a chance - but living all my life beneath these skies I hear the music, soft beneath the dance. A century or more of stumbling feet have traced this path from St. Micks to the Rock. Good spirits open wide the doors to greet the revellers of Wakefield when they knock. At seven, sharp, we meet in the Redoubt, it’s crooked rooms are full of chiming talk. then on to face our Waterloo and stout as black as coal, to help us on our walk. The White Hart next and sawdust ghosts afoot, stiff, wooden chairs that creak like age old men. A chimney spills authentic, ancient soot that trails away in footsteps way back when. Where Wagon and Horses were tethered tight we drink and watch the youngsters on the baize - full heads of hair and eyes a shiny bright, no blood shot orbs and salt and pepper greys. The Smiths Arms draws us to a blazing fire that warms us from the hearth of cosy rooms until we leave to climb towards the spire, our breath explodes in will o’ the wisp plumes. The Swan With Two Necks, changed yet one more time, its stained glass windows gazing at the mill forever etched against a sky in grime - though long gone you can see its outline still. Henry Boons is next with its straw thatched bar where trendy student ambience abounds. The walls are permeated with a tar of funky, grungy, rocky, poppy sounds. Under the railway bridge and cross the road, the red bricked Elephant & Castle looms, a place where time has permanently slowed and memories are cobwebbed in the rooms. Finally, back across the road to find the Black Horse on the corner of my dreams of a dim and distant past I left behind supported from its old, oak timbered beams.

about

For all the things that demonise us all

credits

released September 30, 2015

Recorded at The Music Projects, Wigan (18th May 2015 - 19th August 2015)
All Lyrics & Vocals: IAN WHITELEY
All Music & Instruments: MARTIN HEATON
All Songs Written by Whiteley/Heaton except 'The Revolution Starts Now' (Steve Earle)
PRODUCED by Martin Heaton & Ian Whiteley
ENGINEERED & MIXED by Martin Heaton
ARTWORK: Ian Whiteley
FRONT COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Dominic Simpson
REAR COVER PHOTOGRAPHS: Richard Nixon

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