Written and performed by Paul Francis Relf (©poorlypaulymusic2014)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
I wrote and recorded this this morning at home. All tracks were recorded in one take each. Peace and Love.
Written and performed by Paul Francis Relf (©poorlypaulymusic2014)
From my 2013 ep ‘Boomerangutan’.
Written and performed by Paul Francis Relf (©poorlypaulymusic2013)
Enjoy a song from my latest ep! I’m extremely prolific but you only need to listen to one. One this morning anyhow…
This ones about interrogation…,..
My collage ‘Exiting The Garden Of No Exits’ (2012) used as the front cover artwork for the 2012 album ‘Majestic’ by Those Gin Soaked Rags.
©Paul Francis Relf.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
paulrelfofficial: My oddball poem: enjoy!
Tom Thumb On A Hairpin
……and then the magician
saw the woman in half,
the audience in whole applauded.
A child gave birth to a giraffe,
Backstage the rituals are sordid.
Some were contrived Victorian
And cherry cola Korean,
Quirky up and coming chameleons,
Assorted criminals too.
My twitter come say hi!
'May I be well, happy and peaceful, may my family and friends be well, happy and peaceful' (2014) Paul Francis Relf.
I learnt TM a year ago in February 2013 and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. It didn’t cost a fortune. I paid £300 for a four evening course and you have free check–ups, advice and group meditation for LIFE anywhere in the world. How is that a rip off?
On the web:
Clay Statute Of The Nation.
Hail, father Christmas
And Bohemian Grove
Spats and a suit and a traffic cone
Come all ye spiteful
A spitfire wing
Crashed in the desert
What a wonderful thing
Tragic skin you leather and crease
Our youth is just to rust
Thick steel to a thin sheet
Goodbye my brothers
A man can only endure so much
So long my brothers
I can feel that shroud enveloping
My heart is no longer mine alone.
The clock has begun to slow
To a .
They swam in the streets through air
Car crash Peruvian pills
Eyes of a dead paramedic
And waistcoats unbuttoned.
Factory of vultures;
The killing ceiling is.
I smell their incontinent fear,
Is it any wonder?
There is murder here.
Spiral Bound Hymns:
Notes On The Making Of The 21/22 Trilogy.
The 21/22 Trilogy were the first albums I made that I was happy with. (21/22 refers to my age during the recording of the albums). They were the first albums I made that I felt sounded like me. Even though they don’t sound like me now and didn’t sound like me then. Together, along with their accompanying ep’s of out-takes (‘Looking To Oaxaca’,’Crossfingered For The Change’ and ‘Daggers For Leaves’) they stand apart from everything else I have recorded.
I recorded and compiled them over half a year in 2004. I never questioned what I was doing, I just wrote and sung in desperation, awe and disbelief. They were my visions.
I saw angels in alleyways, diamonds in back seats of cars, drug paraphernalia-paranoia, ghosts killing themselves over and over, poisoning of the pure heart, Buddha weeping in the chapels of Christ as Mozart’s Requiem Mass blared.
All the songs lyrics were based on an ink spill of poetic outpourings. All or almost all were chorus-less, maybe even verse-less. Born of despair and candle light, red eyed in the midnight supernaturalness.
I was working a morning shift at the time and would be home by 12.30 pm. In the afternoons I would write and record until the beers and everything had ruined me. Poetry was always good to write in this state but singing and playing guitar soon became a chore. And thus the albums were made in swirls of smoke and the mirage of bedroom vastness.
I filled notebook after notebook. Dropped ash and spilt beer on the pages.
I was hung up on a girl at work, of course, unreciprocated. I was deeply unhappy around this time but i played the martyr well, with a broken guitar as a makeshift crucifix and old strings for my crown of thorns.
Occasionally I’d be away for a long weekend or a week on tour with The Inbreds (The UK heavy rock band; we recorded and released our debut album that year, 2004) and I always longed to be back in the introverted introspection of my childhood bedroom where my cacti waited, green and growing.
All the songs were recorded on a Fostex 4-track, which I used to record around 1000 songs between late 1998 and 2006.
To my memory none of the trilogy’s songs are in standard tuning on the guitar. I had long been fixated on making up strange open tunings or borrowing cool ones from songs I liked. This gives the songs a strange dream like quality, a drone note building in reverb and all the notes and scuffs echoing into one pulse.
When I came to transferring The original C-90 tape cassettes to digital in 2008, I found they had warped slightly; They play slower than they should. This means my vocals and guitars are a lower key than when I sang them. It sounds strange, though I think better than the originals. They are much more ghostly wounded and oddball.
The albums are built upon hypnotic acoustic trance riffs in cyclic repetition and mostly non-rhyming free form poetry that began with what would become the bulk of ‘Crossing The Shadowline’, a reference to Joseph Conrad’s book. This first album is probably the most straight forwardly normal of the three and has more of a standard song flow.
Although the albums weren’t planned out, a form emerged as I wrote and recorded and tracklists fell into place. The 2nd, ‘Cognac Prayers’ focuses on the place between the dream world and reality and highlights an indignant fed up attitude of wanting the reality AND the dream. But really wanting neither and actually getting neither.
The 3rd album in the trilogy ‘Victoria In A Bad Liver’ is about unrequited love and self-medication-abuse but in an abstract language that doesn’t tell you this is what the album is about. - The hieroglyph as song.
When I listen to the albums now I feel like something is pushing down on my shoulders. Some spirit aura. Neither friend nor enemy, an inquisitive visitor who may or may not be a threat.
All those years ago at night when I listened back to the songs I had recorded in the afternoon, I would be washed in the blood of a lamb that represented my rebirth and resurrection from this day to the next, to begin again the time loop through the holy drug and the shamanic mantra of song in spectral Bexleyheath.
I was gone.
And so was the music…..
In a good way.
Paul Francis Relf
The link below takes you to The 21-22 Trilogy playlist in which there is one song from each album and each accompanying e.p.
The petrol pump.
Coffee coffee coffee coffee.
Record company backstabbing.
The cash machine in reverse.
'What is it?'
'Is that mine?'
Marijuana Marijuana Marijuana.
Test tubes crushed
Miles miles miles miles.
Vocal cords torn
Kitchens kitchens kitchens kitchens.
Motorway motorway motorway
Waiting waiting waiting waiting.
Backstage backstage backstage.
Exhaust pipe falling
Tripping on stage.
Cymbals cymbals cymbals cymbals.
Beers beers beers beers.
Merch table selling.
Echo echo echo.
Soundcheck Soundcheck soundcheck soundcheck.
Line up changes
Snare snare snare snare.
Hotels hotels hotels hotels.
I am Merlin,
Distortion and feedback.
Written by Paul Francis Relf (November 2013)
Holy Shots For The C-90 Tape Cassette Junkies;
The story of The Earp Tapes and the birth of Those Gin Soaked Rags.
Matthew Froud and me had played together in various bands and he had always been my lead guitarist/co-songwriter/drinking buddy. At this point none of the bands I had been in had ever recorded a single song, apart from the odd handheld or tripod camera footage. I, on the other hand, was already an extremely prolific songwriter and had recorded around 200 of the 300 odd songs I had written between 1997 and 2000. These were all recorded on C-90 tape cassettes straight into a small tape player that I believe was actually my sisters. I wish I still had that thing….
Here or somewhere thereabouts in 2001 is where the story of T.G.S.R really begins. I was an awful singer back then and my songwriting was occasionally questionable too. When I was good I was great, when I was bad then it could be laughable, but I’m still very fond of those bad ones.
Stoned and drunk, 18 years old, nerdy, grungy, awkward and shy, lost in a world of spinning cassette wheels, poetry, note books, depression and self harm. Making music with a friend was very good for me, I could be sociable but still introverted, I could be a stadium selling rock star and an award winning songwriter without leaving my own bedroom and that was enough and fine by me.
It was music night in my bedroom with Matt, high, we decide to make, under the moniker Wyatt Earp (AKA The Earps) a loose concept album called ‘Coffee, fags, booze and blues’ by The Drunken Blues Players. We would write the best songs we could and record them to 4-track cassette. 12 songs was the target. Somehow we ended up 6 years later with 8 C-90 tape cassettes full on both sides with hundreds of songs. There is even more still, uncompiled, that are lost in the shoeboxes of original master tapes in the cupboard upstairs in my old bedroom in my parents house.
The songwriting and jam sessions got out of control. We had fun. We laughed and cried. We got angry, we got happy. We got lost. We got found.
The original concept album idea was never actually dropped, we just kept writing new songs for it. We aimed high in artistic endeavour, bombed on weed and alcohol, we slowly, over the months and years added extras to the original slimline 12 song idea.
We had a loose spoken word, guitar accompaniment story song collection called The Ballad of Buttmunch and Skiffle Henry.
Also the Tears In My Coffee Cup jams that ranged from 2 to 25 minutes, these alone could fill a triple album. Some of the original early songs for the album were going to be ‘Soon’ ‘Carpet Burn’ ‘Legend Of Love’ ‘Firebird’ ‘A Lesson Learned’ ‘A Little Bad Advice’ ‘Can’t Get Out’ and ‘Fools Of Freedom’ (‘fools’ becoming a recurring theme, for no known reason, throughout T.G.S.R history)
The introduction of James Holloway to The Earps was a wonderful ride. The drunken nights with candles and incense burning continued but now we had a third songwriter and singer who shared the same vision of indie country rock with a punk attitude and Beat Generation angel geniuses knowing.
We played songs with more purpose now, songs written by me, songs written by James, songs written by the three of us. The wild rambling spontaneous off the cuff jams where we started playing and then sung in turn whatever came to our heads was something Matt and me had done in earlier years but now with James became a satori. (We would later reach an early apotheosis of this in our 2008 debut album ‘Roulette Father Son’ where virtually every song was spontaneously written and recorded from scratch once the record button was pressed.) It was the pure brain in motion, the dream world car crashing into reality, a meditation mantra, the infinite being vibrating, in those moments we were and are one. It was and is transcendent.
Matt and me had dropped the band name Wyatt Earp and then dropped the name The Earps. We had instead just referred to what we did as ‘The Earp Tapes’ almost more like a project than a band. In a way it was more performance art. We were at once the performer and the audience. We had assassinated the middleman in cold blood. We had no need of promoter, talent scout, record producer, record company, critics. audience or fan base. We were everything ourselves. With James joining the rumpus we slowly started throwing around band name ideas. I don’t recall any of the suggestions but we talked about using The Earps again. In the end somehow we fell upon Those Gin Soaked Rags. Were we drinking gin? I don’t remember. I know we talked about London and the gin epidemic. Anyway, there it was.
The eighth and last Earp tape was a mix of songs written apart and songs written together. The end of the Earp Tapes can be attributed to a few things: the addition of James; The naming of the band and moving onto gigging; Actually finishing an ep with the choosing of three songs and artwork by me for the first TGSR release ‘Ragtime Ghosts’ in 2007.
But, as with a lot of modern age extinction, the actual nail in the coffin was, simply, technology. In late 2007 I had bought a digital 8track and found a new freedom of recording and that the sound was a multiverse compared to the 4track tape’s universe. So the tape stopped rolling………..The physical cassette tape at least but the heart and mind as one, what the Japanese call Kokoro, well, that’s still rolling like the eternal waters of the ocean of infinity, rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling rolling on and on and on……………………….
Post-script- The Earp Tapes are unreleased in their complete form. Plans for a cd box set and mp3 format ‘Revealing The Secrets Of The Master Magicians - The Earp Tapes’ has been planned for a while but I can’t say if or when it will see the light of day.
I compiled a two volume best of The Earp Tapes, released in 2009 on CD-R as part of The Inverted Smile Series, ‘The Pitfalls Of Being Strange; The best Of The Earp Tapes vol. 1’ and ‘Heroic Endeavours In Unheroic Times; The Best Of The Earp Tapes vol. 2’. Both of these are extremely rare.
Thanks for reading. I’m popping out for a beer….and a couple of gins……………..
God Bless The Gin Club Boys.
Paul Francis Relf