There’s no such thing as the Hepburns

by The Hepburns

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about

Small-town tales of disintegration, existential limbo, and the dismantling of the welfare state glide on a languid and blissful projection of Bacharach lightness and easy-listening charm. The dramatis personae include foxes, white dogs, a half-human half-trampoline, and conversation robots. It’s sunshine pop of the palest order.

Radio Khartoum MHZ116

credits

released January 27, 2017

Matt Jones: guitar and vocals
Mike Thomas: bass
Cris Haines: brass
Pete Mason: drums and percussion
Pat Grover: harmonica

Additional instruments played by Anthony Rochester

Written by Matt Jones
Recorded by Mike Thomas in Llanfynydd
Produced by Anthony Rochester in Hobart

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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: Silence
The time for talk is over
Cos talk is cheap, no matter how dear
The time for talk is over
The silence is here
I don’t need words to reach you
Cos you are always near
I don’t need words to reach you
The silence is here
Track Name: Little London
There’s a place called Little London
Upon the hill above me
There’s a row of council houses there
That overlooks the sea
There’s a place called Little London
I can confirm the rumour
But whoever called it Little London
Had a sense of humour
It represents an optimism
Now sadly departed
Plans for a party
That never got started

Have you been to Little London?
I wouldn’t recommend it
I bought a postcard
But I don’t think I will send it
It’s more like a miniature
Of some awful disaster
It’s the timid younger brother
Of a stern taskmaster
It’s like a memorial
To victims of the class war
A second-rate cenotaph
In a woeful Whitehall

There’s a place called Little London
A secret place that I found,
There’s a row of council houses there
That overlooks wasteground, although
I’m not so sure that anybody’s
Looking at the view because it
May be a reminder of
The things they’ll never say or do
It’s like a memorial
To victims of the class war
A second-rate cenotaph
In a woeful Whitehall
We are living
After the Lord Mayor’s Show
Track Name: Black Trampoline
Black trampoline beside an old bay window
Black trampoline wherever I go, we go

Because of fear I have not lived my life to the full
Not like you my reckless other, still so wild, so beautiful

Black trampoline when you were up there flying
All I could see was that you were in danger of dying
Black trampoline the girls always loved you
I shielded my eyes and stared into the blue sky above you

Black trampoline I will prevail and carry off the spoils
Black trampoline whilst you inhale peroxide fumes in silver foils
Black trampoline beside an old bay window
Black trampoline wherever I go, we go
Track Name: White Dog
I need a white dog to keep me company
I need a white dog to keep watch over me
When you’re feeling lonely or you’re in a jam
It’s good to know there’s someone there to hold your hand

I need a white dog to keep me company
I need a white dog to keep watch over me
Conversations are all well and good
But words are just one way of making yourself understood

When you’re feeling lonely or you’re in a jam
It’s good to know there’s someone there to hold your hand
Long-winded conversations are all well and good
But words are just one way of making yourself understood

He’s the one who picks me up when things go wrong
So I thought I’d commemorate that pale hound in a song
He’s my white dog, he keeps me company
He’s my white dog, he keeps watch over me
Track Name: Reed In Limbo
Watching a clip of Jerry Reed
On the Porter Wagoner Show
He plays a version of
‘The Wabash Cannonball’
There goes the Wabash Cannonball
Taking me back to when I was small

After the applause dies down
The host requests another song
‘That blues thing’ says Wagoner

Reed starts playing the intro
To ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’
His playing really is sublime
But he is running out of time

The second verse has just begun
When the advertisements come on
‘Hallelujah, I Love Her So’
Is in perpetual limbo
Is in perpetual limbo
The in-between, the got-nowhere-to-go

And as for Reed himself
Stuck on a never-ending shelf
Marooned between the first chorus and

A never-to-be second verse
A never-to-be second verse
A never-to-be second verse
Is this what awaits all of us?

Stuck in perpetual limbo
The in-between, the got-nowhere-to-go
Track Name: Run Fox Run
I’ve seen you walking around
Upon the outskirts of this old town
Your spiky copper-coloured hair
That has seldom seen the sun
I often wonder what it’s like
To only ever see the world by moonlight
The yellows, oranges and reds
Replaced by silvers, blues and whites

All muffled and mute
The sounds and colours of the day
Here comes a solitary flute
As blazing trumpets fade away

I’ve seen you walking around
Upon the outskirts of this old town
Getting bolder by the day
But still you have to go to ground
Do you ever wonder what it’s like
To walk around these busy streets in daylight?
Peering from the undergrowth
Always ready to take flight

You’re leaving your scent
In midnight places where silently you went
Hey foxy where do you go when the sun rises?
I’d really like to know
Track Name: The Life of a Wave
The path to the beach is in shadow
I feel the cold sand under my shoe
Walking into winter sunlight
When I get home I’m going to write
The life of a wave, yeah, the life of a wave

At first, a swell in the shallows
Then a dark line as it starts to grow
Turns translucent in winter sunlight
From black to jade green then to coral white
The life of a wave, yeah, the life of a wave

The path to the beach is in shadow
A razor clam under my shoe
Just like the dogs, just like the sea
Moments of glory swallowed up by infinity
The life of a wave, yeah, the life of a wave
Track Name: Trash
Rainwater in an oil drum
The traces of what was yet to come
Gordon’s Jackson’s wispy hair
Getting blown out of the Xpelair

A combat jacket and a walkie-talkie
Ageing popstars getting porky
It’s the moment that we’ve all been dreading
In a former football player’s pub just outside Reading

We are everywhere, although
We didn’t make much of a splash
We are lodging in your spare
Getting thrown out with the trash

I swear I could discern
The makings of a future bubble perm
Keith Barron on a makeshift raft
A fine example of the actor’s craft

These fragments of pop history
Are actually pieces of you and me
It’s the moment that we’ve all been dreading
In a former football player’s pub just outside Reading

With the trash
Track Name: Conversation Robot
Conversation Robot, what big metal ears you’ve got
The better to appreciate my narration
About a boy who’s on probation
For stealing cars in a one-horse town
After his brother got himself sent down
Now there was a man with a mission
But he did he do what he did of his own volition, Conversation Robot?

Did he orchestrate the ruination of the Welfare State?
You can’t blame him for being greedy
When the rich and the powerful trample on the needy
However they spin it they couldn’t care less
But we’ve all got a hand in this dreadful mess
Conversation Robot, it’s such a gas
Radix malorum est cupiditas

Conversation Robot, you can acquiesce or you can put me on the spot
A growing sense of apprehension
When you’re only fifteen years away from your pension
Middle-aged on the minimum wage
Looking down the barrel of a twelve-gauge
Conversation Robot, it’s such a gas
Radix malorum est cupiditas

Conversation Robot, I’m ready for this conversation
Even if you’re not
Track Name: Girlfriend
When you die can I have your money?
When you die can I have your honey?
Cos you’re not going to need them where you’re going, sonny
When you die can I have your attitude?
And you can have my eternal gratitude
I swear I’ll take good care of your winning ways and easy manner

If it’s all the same to you I’ll move into your flat
Although I’m not too sure about your cat
Your taste in books and music stinks
You wouldn’t know a decent painting if it fell on you, methinks

When you die can I have your jacket?
It’s a Paul Smith one, it must have cost a packet
I’ll be here for the duration but I’m not sure you can hack it
When you die can I have your girlfriend?
When you die can I tie your loose end?
There’ll be time to spend and broken hearts to mend

You old misanthrope you got no hope
You’re permanently poised upon the slippery slope
If the sins of the father are visited on the son
Then it’s difficult to imagine what your father must have done
You old misanthrope you got no hope
You’re permanently poised upon the slippery slope
If the sins of the father are visited on the boy
Your father must have been a right...killjoy

If it’s all the same to you I’ll move my stuff in now
And do all the things that your girlfriend won’t allow
Then you can stop and think about the dog’s life you’ve been led
And maybe come to the conclusion that you’d be better off dead
Track Name: Working Weekends, Working Nights
I don’t mind working weekends, I don’t mind working nights
I’m just getting going when you’re putting out the lights
I don’t mind working weekends although I’d rather not Not when the weather’s sunny, not when it’s hot, hot, hot

Are we going to the seaside
Or maybe to the lakes?
Are we going to the seaside,
Where the white water breaks?
Are we going to the seaside
Can I jump in the boot?
I’ll make a little nest for myself
Amongst all your loot

I’ve been cooped up here for ages, trapped in my little bubble
Can I come away with you? I won’t be any trouble
I’ll pretend to tie my shoelace if we should meet a friend
I don’t want to be a nuisance, I don’t want to offend

Are we going to the seaside
Or maybe to the lakes?
Are we going to the seaside,
Where the white water breaks?
Are we going to the seaside
I want to see the sights
Show me fun and laughter
Show me the bright lights...

I’m the school caretaker with the dodgy ticker
I’m the condensation on the barrel of the Vickers
I’m the Super 8 as it flashes and it flickers
I’m the evacuee, the boy from the blitz
The diabolical stench from the sulphur pits
I’m the threadbare seats in the Rialto and the Ritz
I’m the pain in your eyes when you realise it’s still daylight

Are we going to the dancehall?
I want to see the fights
Show me fun and laughter
Show me the bright lights
Track Name: Screenplay
It’s only hocus pocus, a little sleight of hand
All the props are plywood, the laughter is canned
It’s really rather foolish, I know it’s a cliché
But this isn’t a novel, I’m not writing a screenplay

Every time you leave me my heart tightens like a fist
We didn’t go to the gig but we were on the ghost list
It’s really rather foolish, I know it’s a cliché
But this isn’t a novel, I’m not writing a screenplay

...but if I did...
The poster would have your name on it
Because you’ve got what it takes
You’d be wearing a bonnet like Marlon Brando in 'The Missouri Breaks'

It’s only hocus pocus, a little sleight of hand
All the props are plywood, the laughter is canned
I saw the dawn light turn you a kind of deathly white
It prised me open like a door, I walked into the night
I saw the dawn light turn you a kind of ghostly white
It prised me open like a door. You look just like you used to look before