Road Movie

by The Hepburns

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about

“Road Movie” (1989)

A note on the album

Road Movie was recorded in Swan Studios, Birmingham, in late-1989, and slated for release on our own label Magic Records in 1990. Drummer Les Mun had left the band, replaced by Aled Richards. The line-up was original members Matt and Mike, with Nigel Boulton on lead guitar, Aled on drums, and Chris Jones, an old friend from Llanelli then living in Bearwood, Birmingham, on harmonica and zurna. Road Movie was due to be our second release on Magic, which we founded with ex-Cherry Red man Scott Longley. Due to the tragic death of our backer Brian Longley, Scott’s father, it was never released.

The Hepburns, who had signed to Cherry Red in December 1986, had been released from a 5-album deal after just one album, The Magic of The Hepburns (1988). We never found out why we were ‘let go’. Our debut LP was well received, although the rash of guitar bands that had appeared in the wake of critically and commercially successful ‘indie’ bands such Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and The Smiths had fallen from favour with NME and Melody Maker journalists between 1986 and 1989.

In any case, we did not see ourselves as a standard ‘indie’ band. While our sound was definitely influenced by Edwyn Collins et al, we also paid musical homage to John Barry, Ennio Morricone, and Burt Bacharach. Being young, bloody-minded, and Welsh, we set about writing and recording Road Movie with a vengeance. We had a point to prove and we did it by mixing ‘indie’, not just with easy listening, but with numerous other musical influences, from XTC to The Carpenters to Led Zeppelin, peppering the songs with references to whichever genre came to hand. There are overdriven double-necked guitars alongside brass, harmonicas, vibraslaps, referees whistles, and the much-neglected middle-eastern zurna.

The trouble with ‘indie’, the press seemed to think, was it was too earnest, too twee, and the anorak-clad vocalists and guitarists sang and played out of tune on purpose. While The Hepburns to this day cannot guarantee an in-tune vocal, we are Welsh and were therefore discouraged from a young age by a certain native sarcasm from being earnest and twee. As for the playing, we were joined on this album by Aled Richards, who went on to warm the Catatonia drum stool, and by Nigel Boulton, the self-styled ‘King of Wales’, both of whom impart a cutting edge to the sound, which consequently is about as twee as the Pontypool front row.

credits

released January 8, 2017

Matt Jones - Guitar & Vocals
Mike Thomas - Bass
Nigel Boulton (The King Of Wales) - Lead Guitar
Aled Richards - Drums
Cronsey - Harmonica, Zurna & Artwork.
Paul Robertson - Shaker (Mr. Popularity)

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about

The Hepburns Wales, UK

The Hepburns are a Welsh indie band from Llanelli, South-West Wales. They have recorded ten albums, two EPs, one single, and three BBC sessions and have been signed to Berkeley-based label Radio Khartoum since 1999. They toured the United States and Scandinavia in 2007. 'There’s No Such Thing as The Hepburns', their tenth studio album, is due for release on 29 January 2017. ... more

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Track Name: On Your Knees, Cowboy
ON YOUR KNEES COWBOY

Take the express to the coast to the hotel by the sea
The hotel by the sea
The sky is grey
Curtain falls from high ceiling to floor
The person you were is beating on the door
This performance can’t go on much more

Chorus:
On your knees, cowboy
You’re going to rue the day you ever laid eyes on me
You’re going to want me more and more

I’m looking back down a street lined with poplars
Through the stations of abandoned days
The early evening runs
The early evening sun
The early evening runs
The early evening sun
Track Name: 22 Different Kinds of Fish
22 DIFFERENT KINDS OF FISH

22 different kinds of fish
Boiling on the fire, about to overflow
Who knows, who knows
Which way this thing will go?

Chorus:
Familiar things seen from close to
Familiar things…
The night is young, it’s underage
Though I’m well-thumbed
I’m trembling as I turn the page

Familiar things seen from close to
Familiar things…a whole new world
Track Name: Salman Rushdi's Personal Hi-fi
SALMAN RUSHDI's PERSONAL HI-FI

(instrumental)
Track Name: Professional Help
PROFESSIONAL HELP

Out on the road again
From service station to service station
Getting wild with some friends

Chorus:
There’s a winged beast circling the car
Maybe I should seek professional help

If we get stopped, Michael
It’s 15-20 years minimum
But that’s the least of our fears

Your expertise – what’s that when it’s at home?
Track Name: Hey Postie!
HEY POSTIE!

Waiting for the postman’s heavy footfall
Wondering when he is going to call
Bring me love, bring me hate
But bring it through that gate

Chorus:
Hey postie, have you got something for me?
Hey postie, hey there postie
Perhaps my model-maker’s magazines
Hey postie, hey there postie

If I had a life, a dog, a beach
Instead of this infernal itch
Bring me love, bring me hate
Tsk, you’re 20 minutes late

Chorus:
Hey postie, have you got something for me?
Hey postie, hey there postie
Perhaps my model-maker’s magazines
Hey postie, hey there postie

Perhaps some junk mail, perhaps my telephone bill
Which I hope will not be too substantial
Hey postie, hey postie
Hey postie, hey postie
Track Name: Tariq
TARIQ

(instrumental)
Track Name: Nobody's Happy
NOBODY's HAPPY

Nobody’s happy with the way things are
I’m gonna change my life, I’m gonna change my car
Nobody’s happy with the way things are

Nobody’s happy with the way things are
I’m gonna change my change, I’m gonna change my colour
Nobody’s happy with the way things are

She’s coming home on Tuesday with a sack brimful of useless things

Nobody’s happy with the way things are
I’m gonna change my life, I’m gonna change my lover
Nobody’s happy with the way things are
Track Name: The Man Who Waves at Passing Trains
THE MAN WHO WAVES AT PASSING TRAINS

Honey it’s me
Sugar it’s me
Honey it’s me they want to see
So get out of my way
I must be moving on
What made you think you were important anyway?

Chorus:
Waiting for the train to come
Never been so far from home

Will I turn tail?
Your taste appals
Teenage kitsch just oozing from the walls
And when the tide
Of booze subsides
I’m high and dry and naked to the wind

Chorus:
Waiting for the train to come
Never been so far from home

I’m the one who waves at passing trains
Well? Wave back then….
Track Name: Jimmy Neighbour
JIMMY NEIGHBOUR

Jimmy Neighbour what’s become of you?
Seventies pop idol and a style guru
Are you married to an aerobics instructress,
Or a photographic model,
Or selling life insurance like Wyndham Evans?
Track Name: Heart of the Shimmering Desert
SHIMMERING DESERT

Can you survive the cold water shock of the new day?
Splash- splash- splashing on your window pane
The surf of the city traffic

A thousand miles away at the heart of the shimmering desert
Your baby murmurs in her sleep
Your name or another’s

She stokes the fires of the sun
That bakes the concrete cake of mud
Stretching out between us
Track Name: Sandra's Mystery Plant
SANDRA's MYSTERY PLANT

Just look what I have found
I’m going to take it home and brush it down
This refugee that I pulled from the ruins

It’s irresistible
Compulsion not conviction could do me untold harm
This refugee that I pulled from the ruins

I’m so close that I can…

Just look what I have found
I’m going to take it home and brush it down
This refugee that I pulled from the ruins
Track Name: Mr. Popularity
MR. POPULARITY

People come and go
There’s a couple in the room below
But I don’t interfere, I just live here
The walls are thin. I’m living in
Strange houses in other people’s trousers
I’m his and hers and yours

What’s for breakfast? Not more sentiment I hope,
I couldn’t take much more of that. Remember who you’re talking to…

More slamming doors than a Whitehall farce. I think I’ll pass
On the bedroom scene
For me and you read Terry and June
People come and go
There’s a couple in the room below
But I don’t interfere, I just live here
I’m Mr Popularity.