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Experimenting with Noisy Insects


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Experimenting with Noisy Insects Experimenting with Noisy Insects

This is a bit of a higgledy-piggledy collection of experiments in home recording during my time living in Croydon in the mid-1980s, with fairly basic recording equipment.  In 1984, having bought the "first dedicated music computer", I persuaded Thea & Karen, 2 work colleagues, to come and sing some cover versions - Fool - Will You? - Top of the World.  Karen also kindly provided various squeals & whoops on Woodlands.  Other songs here include ones that didn't really feel suitable for Bad Tune Men, so I recorded them by myself.

Composers:   All songs written by Ed Hooke except:

           “Fool“  - Sigmund & Last

           “Will You? “  - Hazel O'Connor

           “Top of the World”   - Richard & Karen Carpenter

“Because You're Frightened" - Howard Devoto/Barry Adamson/John Doyle/Dave Formula/John McGeogh

“Grouch” - Ed Hooke & David Leak


Guest appearances :

Thea Hamilton - vocals on "Fool" and "Top of the World"

Karen Bradford - vocals on "Will You?" and "Woodlands"

David Leak - keyboards on "Grouch""

Will You?
Top of the World
Because You’re Frightened

Milk in my egg.
A sidecar's orange-tinted window.
Glass hospital doors
but there's no escape.

Mockery as needed as
the hole in my head that caused it.
Brickfield Road.
Feed the chickens
and put the tail on the donkey.

Green grow the rushes
on the Beaulieu coach.
Her name was Becky
and she never looked my way.
Grown up, rolled up in black curtains.
The King of the Thing
and a week in France.

Free tickets at Aldershot.
Raby Road
and saliva on my long blue coat.
Down to the station
in a Bournemouth police van.

A List of Things that Don’t Begin with ‘P’

Thursday follows Wednesday
 - and a Black Heart.
Barons and beetles
and fascists and Jews.
A left foot volley at the Sports Centre.
Examinations fucked.
Up to the office in Portsmouth Road.

An ocean in my sleeping bag.
Leaping the wire fence
- your bloody nose.

Uncle Solomon
arrived at West Meon.

Gorse bushes look across Poole Bay.
Dinner in a fridge at Stoke Clump.

Micheldever rain.
Lyndhurst frost and trees.
A man on the loose.
Loose connections on batteries.
Locked out of the car
- you should be running the world!
- maybe you are.


Toodeloo to peace and love.
We had a laugh -
well, that was what you wanted, wasn't it?

Come and play my synthesiser.
Pull these strings
& stick the metal disks onto the heads

Oh these days I'm up at the Manor House.
Cathy's letter in the top drawer
with the others.
Down to Stockwell tube again.
There's vomit in my sink.

This wasn't meant to be a poem,
or a work of art
- just a list of photographs in my mind.

The list is incomplete.
The show could go on forever
- and it probably will.

to LISTEN click here

Composer:   Ed Hooke
Date of Composition/Copyright:   1983
Date of Recording:    1984

Written in April 1983 while living in a bedsit in Manor House, North London.  A retrospective on my near-21 years of life up to that point through a series of 'photographs', starting from my earliest childhood memories, working through middle (primary) school. grammar (secondary) school, my early days of travelling to support Hartlepool United FC, backpacking around Hampshire and Dorset, late teenage friendships and early work experiences, leaving Southampton behind and finishing with my first couple of months in London ("these days I'm up at the Manor House").


Do you know resentment since there is no reason why?
and do you know fear, for there is so much that isn't known yet?
'Cause if you do, it doesn't show.
Inspired by your example I will do my best to sing along
- perhaps to guide the way.
You can do it.  Yes you can!

You just have to believe,
for there's a song to sing and you must sing it.
You just have to believe.
We each have one life only so love the life that you lead.

Sometimes we seem as frail as candles in the breeze.
One moment proud and strong, the next extinguished with ease.
But unlike candles, we can fight
- help Destiny to get it right.
Mountain moving is not my scene, but I believe in you
and we will help to pull you through.

When I think of you,
I see a brave young angel, strong enough to win through.
If you should think of me, I could not hope for more than parity.

If Despair should call, ignore his teeth; you can remove them all.
We can turn the tide, be patient and determined.
Time is on our side.

Come on!

Happy Families

Father did the house up.
It's not enough.
His sense of humour helps
- but it gets on his daughter's nerves.

Mother's at her wits' end.
He's so untidy!
She used to say she loved him.
Now they just live for the kids & Jesus.

Brother's gone away to London town
to seek his fame and fortune.
His feet are two feet off the ground.

Sister's still at home on a secretarial course
- another female cul-de-sac?
Does she feel there's something more?

So where do I fit in?
'Cause I don't think I do.
And I don't want to play happy families.

Written for Lynne C who was seriously ill at the time I first got to know her.  She was trained as a children's dentist ("if Despair should call, ignore his teeth - you can remove them all").  And we did turn the tide, didn't we, Lynne?

Composer:   Ed Hooke
Date of Composition/Copyright:   1985
Date of Recording:    1985
Written for:  Lynne C

Happy Families - see also the song, My City has been Burned to the Ground  in the Emerging into the Brightness of the Day album.  This was a particularly difficult song to write. 

Composer:   Ed Hooke
Date of Composition/Copyright:   1983
Date of Recording:    1988

Woodlands Hand Hurt Grouch

Composer:   Ed Hooke / David Leak
Date of Composition/Copyright:   1988
Date of Recording:    1988

Composer:   Ed Hooke
Date of Composition/Copyright:   1986
Date of Recording:    1986
Written for:  Lynne C

Composer:   Ed Hooke
Date of Composition/Copyright:   1984
Date of Recording:    1984
Vocals:  Karen Bradford