Gothic Urban Blues

by Harry Stafford

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1.
There’s a dent in my head where the drunks took a shy, there’s a part of my tail thinks it’s gotta be a fly Optimistic guy with a shakedown suit, face first in the bar without the aid of a chute Got a plate in his head attracting airborne metal splinters, mixed up in the mess of confused petal fingers She got me with her eyes and as her hand held mine, exploding tiny clusters say the world is thine. She just blew me away Somewhere in this head is a plate of buzzing knaves attracted to the canteen in the gaping open graves Solo to Mars and back behind the moon, space between my ears and into orbit too soon She just blew me away On the other side of town with yet more airborne metal splinters, mixed up in the mess of confused petal fingers She got me with her eyes and as her hand held mine, exploding tiny clusters say the world is thine. She just blew me away I guess this is the end seldom friend, I guess this the broken voodoo trend She said I think it’s has gone as far as it can go, she had no idea I’d been further than drifting planets flow . . . . . She just blew me away. . . . . . . . .
2.
He could see the Knights of Babylon through crystal crimson lenses The towering vista put upon to hell my love with you With Gold frame aviators he flew the payload to the east with general pips and epaulets he flushed the fighting nationalists He got a cruel set of shades god of the urban everglades He got a cruel set of shades even when the lighting fades Born with soulless piggy eyes he took to wearing jet black frames he watched the girls without them seeing one day he jumped from the balcony
3.
Hey Mister, things just got acuter, drive me to the ocean where the scene drops forever Take me to the last place where there’s any fun, take me to casino in the sky Stick a flat-hod of tokens in my hand, and get Lady Sorrows to tell my fortune Put me in the penthouse of the shifting sands and drop ten grand on curled up lip CHORUS E C#m A Take me to the top of the Gothic heights; take me to the breathless C altitude tower Way up in the world on the wings of spacecraft, and looking down to the insects below. Tighten the bolts and oil the gears, let’s see what this baby can do? Strap yourself in and get your camera out and on and on to the Gothic Urban Blues. Hey something’s just got loose; I can feel the whole joke changing as we speak But did you lie to the fortune teller? made it up to sugar coat the world Crack house and exhaust fumes in my lungs, half the smell of the street hustler dream Put me in the barrel that goes over the falls and bet I don’t come out on the other side
4.
Painted Ocean Fm/C7/A#7 Fm I’m one step from the ocean. Swallowed like a fish There’s a mass of water, to be a tsunami C7 And inside of this vast box of water and inside this great box of trash . . . . . .there’s only you. On a painted Ocean. Coloured blues and grays With my head above the water, the ships gone down Well inside this endless departing and inside this bucket of brine . . . . .there’s only you A#7 And when the dirty nights wash through me, like an unconnected blight And when it’s only Thursday night, when it should be Christmas/Judgement day . . . . there’s only you x2 If I could sail far away, I’d sail ‘cross the clouds Away from the drink and the ocean I think Like a Painted ocean, on a painted planet . . . . . there’s only you.
5.
G Em Infinite tracks on the dust route west Bm D This heaven lacks the devil knows best Single engine in the jet stream sky Double sloe Gin like a dream I spy C Am Out of the house and out of my head C D Out of the city to the land of the dead Decisions and divisions here on the way down To the flooded mine and the last gasped noun Flying high and buying time To the vanishing point and the faint white line Out of the house and out of my head Out of the city to the land of the dead (INST [2] + CHORUS) Darkness dissolved by the stars at night And the far headlights of cars turning right Leading you off and leading you on To the infinite tracks where the dust route’s gone? Out of the house and out of my head Out of the city to the land of the dead Refrain: Infinite Dust on the way out west, infinite Dust in the land of the dead Intro/V1/Ch/V2/Ch/inst/Ch/V3/Ch/inst/Ch/ return to intro which is also outro (3+ mins)
6.
Black Rain 04:31
Chords ; Gm/A/Dm F/G/Dm
7.
Sideways shuffle (Adim7th) Please Uncle, take away the pain I’ve feasted with the panthers dancing in the rain Don’t help me, I’m stood below the sign I’ve stumbled in the counting house I’m witness to the crime Oh Uncle, mendacity’s all the same I’ve tried to keep conspicuous but now they know my name I’m caught . . and my explanation stammers Just a little tack and all around are hammers Oh, Oh Oh Oh, Oh-Oh Oh-Oh-Oh! I’m taking a sideways shuffle yeah! all the way down I’m on a sideways shuffle to the bottom of the pit. (Falling down stairs piano instrumental)
8.
Man In a Bar 03:12
D5 The man, he’s arguing loudly with himself, and he’s looking at the liquor on the shelf Gm But it’s darker than the innards of a drunk D5 Sick from all the gasoline he’s sunk A It’s on the house, it’s on a tab, it’s on the bar D5 Like a bent crab serving ether to your ma Man sits and wonders why he’s all alone, And looks to see if anyone has a phone Sends a message to the prisoners in the sink Sodden from the marinade and stink It’s a late drink; it’s a shining northern star And you’re served by a crustacean at the bar You could say he’s arguing loudly with himself, He’s still looking at the liquor on the shelf And it’s darker than the innards of a sot Sick from all the gasoline gut rot It’s on the house, it’s on a tab, it’s on the bar A bent crab serving ether to your ma Man toasts the very men who want him dead as he feels the evening burning in his head Raising glasses and victorious salutes As he chugs back whiskey sours from a flute He walks into the street without a sigh Sun rises in the sky, it’s time to die
9.
Disappearing 04:35
Disappearing D /D7G/Gm/D . . . .Em/A . . . D/E7/G/D D D7 D7+C She drives a car into the sea; it was a gift from someone hateful G Gm D She has friends and enemies they’re all the same She has bankers she has lovers castigated from the hymn sheet And she’s learnt to keep them safely in a hole Em A But she grows so very tired of the favours and the debts, She spending all her efforts on a case of disappearing Along the shore below the cliffs into the cavern of the night, Counting out the time by ebbs and flows into the light Into the sea into the drink like a stick into some ink, She’ll scrawl out a name a stretched out waiting game She feels the pain the list of names; the very weight adjusts her aim Like a hitman in her pocket’s sticky stain But she grows so very tired of the favours and the debts, She spending all her efforts on a case of disappearing Along the shore below the cliffs into the cavern of the night, And out into the days to a waiting limousine. (Inst +Chorus then refrain) D E7 G D She’s a case of Disappearing and out into the night x4 She drives a car out to the coast; it was a gift from someone hopeful She had friends and enemies they’re all the same Now she waits it’s any day now, a different sunset every evening And she’s learnt to keep them safely in her heart D E7 G D She’s a case of Disappearing and out into the night x4
10.
Into the Storm Gm/Cm+9/D7 . . .Eb/D7/Gm . . . . Gm/Cm/D7/Gm Verse 1 Gm Cm+9 I got to put my things in order Gm D7 I got to make sense of Affairs I got to answer to the knock on my door A hand with a fist and on my failing heart Bridge Eb D7 How, How, How, How, How Gm Do you close your eyes at night? How, How, How, How, How Do you sleep in the Storm? Eb D7 With the door blown clean of its hinges Gm D7 I’ll say good night Chorus Gm/Cm+9/D7/Gm Into the Storm . . . .x4 Verse 2 Storm’s blown down the power and the Wi-Fi Making my life a little harder It’s been raining from the very day I was born Storm surge into a coffin shaped pool.

about

“The unrelenting noise of the city, the sounds, the music, the traffic, with all its citizens shouting through the hubbub. Trying to make a mark with incessant hunger and ruthless desire. All seeking their fortune in the grime. Some satisfied to be alive and some probing for their place among the immortals: someone to love, something to blow your mind and a ‘soul sonic vision’ to look beyond the vista in a penthouse demi-heaven. Half the dream of the urban city sprawl: all the sound of Gothic Urban Blues.” Harry Stafford.

Manchester-based indie music stalwart Harry Stafford presents his forthcoming album 'Gothic Urban Blues' with Guitar Shaped Hammers, an album about the Metropolis, the naked city, the urban sprawl and the need to get back to the ripped back streets when you’re far away. If there are a million stories in the naked city, here are a few to keep you warm.

Mixed and engineered by Ding Archer (The Fall, PJ Harvey) at his 6Db Studio in Salford, this album was co-produced by Archer and Harry Stafford.

Led by Harry Stafford, best known as founder, guitarist and vocalist of post-punk gothic rockers Inca Babies, the band's core includes drummer Rob Haynes (The Membranes, Inca Babies), trumpeter Kevin Davy (Lamb, Cymande), guitarist Andy Mills, and Vincent O'Brien on Weisseborn slide guitar.

Formed in the early 1980s, Inca Babies released four albums and multiple singles and Peel sessions. Much of his musical career has been spent with Inca Babies, playing across Europe and the world but in 2015, after 35 years with Inca Babies, Stafford decided to release untamed solo material that echoes his love of blues piano and barroom ballads.

The new album 'Gothic Urban Blues' and debut solo album 'Guitar Shaped Hammers', released in December 2017, are the inevitable result, reflecting a multitude of ideas around a driving yet lilting punk-piano blues. The idea was for Stafford to leave his noisy electric guitar behind - abandoning everything he held and cherished - to make some new music with a piano and a head full of ideas.

The new album, out in March 2020, features a more defined sound of a band finding its stride. The band is hereforth called Guitar Shaped Hammers to reflect this cohesion of musical unity - with more guitars from Vincent O'Brien, and an additional layered sonic blast from Nick Brown (The Membranes). With intense percussion from Rob Haynes and a truly masterful trumpet contribution from jazz supremo Kevin Davy, the result is very much the soundtrack of a basement radio station stumbling across a new genre they’ve tagged Gothic Urban Blues.

credits

released March 27, 2020

Harry Stafford: Piano, keys, guitar and vocals
Rob Haynes: Drums, percussion
Vincent O'Brien: Slide guitar, lap blues slide and guitar
Nick Brown: bass and guitar
Kevin Davy: Horns
Written by Harry Stafford
Mixed and engineered by Ding Archer at 6Db Studio
Produced by Ding Archer and Harry Stafford
Mastered by Christophe at Oxygene Music

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Harry Stafford Manchester, UK

Harry Stafford is guitarist and singer of post-punk-blues-Gothic-rockers Inca Babies. The incas were formed in Manchester UK., in the 80s. In 2015 he decided to release some solo material that echoes his love of Blues Piano and barroom ballads. But 30 years with the incas meant it wasn’t going to be as musically simplistic as that. Guitar Shaped Hammers and Gothic Urban Blues are the result. ... more

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