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Songs: Rock & Roll Mayhem

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original lyrics:

In Birmingham I met an author
He writes books, that's what authors do
I said "I love your work"
He said "Who are you?"

'Cos I'm on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem

In Glasgow I woke up at 3am
And made for the toilet door
I found myself stark bollock naked
Locked out in the hotel corridor

'Cos I'm on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem

In Hull I refuted media allegations
That The Validators had split up
Met the New York Anti-Folk Poet Jeffrey Lewis
And shared a manly hug

'Cos I'm on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem

In Sheffield we played an illegal warehouse rave
It was like Andy Warhol at The Factory
I did two encores
And then we went clubbing in the week

'Cos I'm on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem

In London we enjoyed a Rock Cliche
When I stopped and the audience sang "Payday"
Oh baby, there was a lot of love there at the end
When me and Adam and Team Frankie said "Let's do it again"

'Cos we're on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem
Yeah, we're on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem
Oh we're on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem
Let's go on tour
Rock and Roll Mayhem

2019 version:

We kicked off the tour in Croydon
In its International Hotel District
I wasn't aware there was such a thing
But it there is

We're on tour
Rock and roll mayhem

In Camberwell we played the Joiners
A legendary toilet venue pub
We rocked the Plymouth Argyle
London Branch Supporters Club

We're on tour
Rock and roll mayhem

In Leicester we ate some vegan sausage rolls
And Matt was lucky not to end up dead
the bloke on the door didn't turn up
And Matt slagged off Crazyhead (in Leicester!)

We're on tour
Rock and roll mayhem

In Sheffield we kicked it off early
Drinking cocktails and eating pie
Matt had some Henderson's relish
And then we partied on, into the night

We're on tour
Rock and roll mayhem

In Manchester Matt turned up
Having been in a fight
With a hill
And we couldn't work the lights

We're on tour
Rock and roll mayhem

In Bristol we played under a tin roof
So it was quite difficult to hear
On the plus side, it was in a brewery
So we got a load of completely free beer

We're on tour
Rock and roll mayhem

Now, London is the gig where we currently are
It's too early to say but it's going pretty well so far
Would I do it again? Yes, only if we can
Involve me, Matt, the spirit of ROCK, and Jann

Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

This is another DOCUMENTARY song, as everything in here is pretty much true. In September 2004 I went on TOUR, and it was BRILLIANT. I started off with a LOW KEY GIG (that really WAS low key, even more so than usual!) at The Victoria in Mornington Crescent on September 16th, when I played without a PA supporting Jeffrey Green. I was feeling quite cocky I must admit, because beforehand I'd spent a pleasant couple of hours in THE PUB, and then nipped back to my office to do an interview about the tour with the Raw Talent show on BBC Sheffield. I was feeling ROCK.

On Saturday 18th I went up to Birmingham to play at The Jug Of Ale. This wasn't originally intended to be part of the tour, but Pete Green offered me the spot in a lineup supporting Jeffrey Lewis, and what with the Jug being one of my most FAVOURITE venues ever, I would have been a fool to say no. When we'd released "This Is Not A Library" I decided to send out copies to a few people whose STUFF I liked, like John Otway or Nigel from Half Man Half Biscuit, as a KARMIC COUNTER BALANCE to all the arseholes (like NME journalists) who I'd have to send it to who I didn't like NB I send CDs to people like this PURELY so I can rightfully moan about them never reviewing AAS stuff, and I am never disappointed in them. ANYWAY, one of the people I thought I'd send it to was Mike Gayle, author of "My Legendary Girlfriend", "Mr Commitment" and loads of others - my brother FORCED these books on me, as he LOVED them, and so did i. Mr Gayle wrote to say thanks for the CD when he got them, and said he'd liked it, and then, just before the Birmingham gig emailed me to say he might pop along and say hello, and blow me down but he DID. Here I must confess that, actually, he was very nice INDEED, and although I REALLY DID say "I love your work", he actually replied "Thank you very much", but that didn't rhyme. I also very briefly heard and then met Jeffrey Lewis at this gig, but was too CONCERNED about sorting out the 80% of The Validators who'd managed to get there to think about watching him.

I went back to London on the Sunday, and then on Monday 20th I FLEW up to Glasgow. This was NIGHTMARISH, as the plane we were on was DELAYED, and then got as far as Manchester before TURNING BACK! By the time I finally arrived I might as well have caught the train, and DASHED across town to the Tchai Ovna teahouse, where I played with The Plimptons and Frankie Machine, again without a PA. It seemed to go OK, we got out at 10pm and, as the place had had no BOOZE, went in search of some. We got EXTREMELY DRUNK and I went back to my hotel room, stripped naked, and dropped off. The verse concerning what followed is, I am afraid, ENTIRELY TRUE.

When we got to Hull the idea APPEARED to me that maybe I could write a SONG about this EXPLOIT, and indeed all the others that would DOUBTLESS FOLLOW. When I got the idea I went and got my guitar and, basically, wrote it as I sang it. PEASY. It's not a particularly COMPLEX song I know, but I was still quite impressed by myself for doing it, and sang the first two verses that very night. The allegations I was refuting had appeared in that day's Hull Daily News - the week before I'd done a telephone interview with a chap there, who somehow got the idea that The Validators had split up, so I spoke from THE STAGE to set the record straight. The gig was an AAS night, but Jeffrey Lewis was still in the country, so he came and played, and was a LOVELY man and, as stated, we shared a manly hug at the end of the evening. I also recall staying up quite late again with Eddy Bewsher and his housemates, whilst Adam From The Hector Collectors almost collapsed before being put to bed. Bless.

Next we were in Sheffield - this gig had been cancelled a week before, as the original venue was being refurbished, and it was only when I was getting on the train to go to Birmingham that the promoter had rung to let me know they'd found a new venue, a rehearsal studio. OK, it wasn't EXACTLY a warehouse rave, but it WAS (sort of) illegal, kind of, and also it was GRATE. We all had to take our own beer, so beforehand we went to the massive ASDA and DELIGHTED in taking a shopping trolley UP the trolley escalator. We were WILD MEN. The gig went BRILLIANTLY, especially, for me, once I decided to not use the microphone, and I did indeed do two encores - it could have been THREE! Honestly, this is TRUE - I declined because I wanted to start drinking my BEER! When the gig finished we went to The Casbah for an ELECTRO night, and we BODY POPPED the night away alongside one of the actors from "Coupling". When we finally got home we had a PARTY, although I passed out and ended up being photographed with a NAKED Gary From Frankie Machine. Such larks!

FINALLY we got back to London and played at the 12 Bar - this was a LOVELY gig, and there was INDEED a lot of love there in the room, not just between me and Adam from The Hector Collectors and Team Frankie but between the LARGE number of lovely people who were there, not least my brother Paul and his pals who came and SANG ALONG to half the set, especially PAYDAY IS THE BEST DAY. Handily, Eddy had come down from Hull (actually, the fact that Eddy WOULD be in London on this night was the whole point of doing the tour - I'd organised a GIG especially for him and his mate from America to come and see, and everything else had just EXUDED from there) and videoed it.

Once the tour was finished I wrote the final section - each night when I sang the song so far, I'd sing, for instance, "In London..." and STOP, so I used that bit for the end - then recorded it and stuck it online as a MEMENTO. I'd thought that it'd be a nice SOUVENIR and would never play it again, but a couple of weeks ago (it's January 3rd 2005 now, and this happened on December 19th 2004) I played it live on Steve Lamacq's 6Music show at the suggestion of the Wave In My Radio, and it seemed to go down pretty well, so it may end up staying around for a while. I am GLAD of this, it's a lovely song to sing and it reminds me of a BLOODY BRILLIANT week!

In 2019 I went on tour with Mr Matt Tiller and re-wrote the song. It was a good idea!

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