Graphite

by Kevin P. Gilday

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about

Graphite is a concept album. It deals with the selfishness, insecurities, dreams, imagination and shortcomings of a man in his mid-twenties struggling for a sense of identity. The intangible sense that everything you've ever wanted is just round the corner and the inescapable sense that it'll always remain just out of reach. An album about potential and it's crushing responsibility, about the disparity between who you are and who you'd like to be.

Listening Instructions

Preferably, this album should be heard through good quality headphones with the lyrics present - to be mocked at will. Recommended listening locations include Tollcross park, Duke street at night and the bush outside your ex-partner's new flat. This album should only ever be listened to alone. Enjoy.

credits

released December 25, 2011

Recorded and mixed by Emily MacLaren and Stuart Evans at Greendoor Studios.

The players:

James Campbell - Saxophone on track 15.

Jennifer Campbell - Piano on track 2; Flute on track 3.

Tim Courtney - Guitar on tracks 17 and 19; Melodica on track 10.

David Flood - Guitar on tracks 6 and 9.

Kevin Frew - Melodica on track 10; Drums on track 15.

Kevin P. Gilday - Vocals on all tracks; Percussion on tracks 3, 12 and 17; Violin on track 10; Saw on track 10; Radio Static on track 14.

Rebecca Kilgour - Vocals on track 19.

Emily MacLaren - Organ on tracks 3 and 12; Glockenspiel on track 3; Tape loops on track 7.

tags

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: Formaldehyde & Vaseline
The painters never paint
And the writers never write
The painters never paint
And the writers never write

Rain battered face
Hair depletion
A green slime masquerading as excretion
The mind is weak and the flesh is reeling
My whole life encapsulated in a feeling

Regret

In whole or in part
Condemned by the purveyors of shit motorway art
Content with a life of watered down beer
A holiday to Tenerife once a year
Artistic intentions hidden by fear
Artistic intentions hidden by fear
Artistic intentions hidden by fear
Artistic intentions hidden by fear

The painters never paint
And the writers never write
Track Name: Dear Green Place
Oh dear green places of Glasgow
You welcome tramp and child alike
Provide a refuge from the brew
Allow a battalion of students to ride a bike

Brilliant green scars across the anonymous grey
Islands of beauty not yet swept away
A place to write, to think and to dream
Away from the malaise of the estates and the schemes

Oh dear green places of Glasgow
Relics of Victorian splendour
Our true collective birthright
Our entwined pasts you render

From Kelvingrove’s herbaceous border
To the Lama of Tollcross
From Bellahouston’s wide open spaces
To the swans of Hogganfield Loch

Oh dear green places of Glasgow
Against the harsh winter you stand resolute
Intrepid explorers conquer your vertices
And transform your snow covered hills into chutes

Vivacious flowers bloom in intricate arrangements
Under the nourishing cover of the Botanic’s containments
Young children frolic
Earnestly chasing the leaves
While the teenagers push their boundaries
Drinking Bucky behind the trees

Oh dear green places of Glasgow
Track Name: The Church of the Self
So I put my hand through the mirror
Another 7 years bad luck
So enraged by what I saw
Too drunk to give a fuck

In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture

A reflection of my face
The disappointment it has brung
To myself and many others
They oughtta crucify my tongue

In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture, rejoice in my sin, worship my own picture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture
In the church of the self I write my own scripture
Track Name: I Am My Father's Son
I may see it fit
To borrow an expression or a phrase
To be executed by my tongue
Or written all over my face
A half remembered bead of wisdom
Or a bawdy little pun
All recycled as my own
I am my father’s son

A restless mind and greying hair
Amongst other things bequeathed
A bulbous sac filled with bile
A mouth of crooked teeth
Three generations of men
Who let spirits loosen their tongue
But despite all that’s said
I am my father’s son

A propensity to sadness
A genetic predisposition
Joins a hereditary dissatisfaction
Amongst a litany of conditions
Yet to unselfishly oppose injustice
Is something I’ve never done
But there’s still time for me
I am my father’s son

I eschewed tools for language
Curtailing tradition as I went
Assigned societal roles
I’d attempt to circumvent
Reigned in by lineage
Impossible to outrun
As he was before me
I am my father’s son
Track Name: Call Centre Blues
“Please wait while one of our UK based advisors becomes available”
Goes the mantra – distant and inalienable
A disembodied female voice
Repetition without a choice

So I wait, beep beep
And I wait, beep beep
And I wait, beep beep
And I wait, beep beep

I consider a more efficient use of my time
Creating art, masterful and sublime
These jobs are designed to deny our potential
And occupy our minds with the inconsequential
Hour upon hour of precious time wasted
The fun we could have had, the wine we could have tasted
Track Name: Beautiful Cosmos
You are the centre of your little world and I am of mine
Now and again we meet for tea, we’re two of a kind

This is our universe, cups of tea
We have a beautiful cosmos, you and me
We have a beautiful cosmos

What do we talk of whenever we meet? Nothing at all
You sit with a sandwich, I look at a roll

Sometimes I open my mouth, and shut it

We have a beautiful cosmos, you and me
We have a beautiful cosmos, you and me
Track Name: 5 (Short) Short Stories
Ed crumbled under the weight of Jane’s erotic confession. He got the train, bought a pasty from the trolley and cried furiously.

“It’ll be hilarious”, laughed Jim with abandon. But when the water soaked Irene with a flourish she found it infinitely less so.

As the brisk mountain air cascaded down into the valley, invigorating shrubs with artificial movement, we held our breath - in awe.

The laptop arced through the air and hit the ground with a dull thud. Chris wept. She had changed her status to ‘in a relationship’.

Some teenagers with asymmetrical fringes laughed at Robert as he walked past them on the street. He marched straight to the first public toilet he could find, and turned his Pet Shop Boys t-shirt inside out.
Track Name: Fair Words Oblige No Man
Fate, drove me away
Enraptured by possibility
Hate, rained down today
Encroaching on my civility

Fair words oblige no man

Take, your time with me
My mental state not fully formed
Draw, a map to see
The distance until my heart has warmed

Fair words oblige no man
Fair words oblige no man
Fair words oblige no man
Fair words oblige no man
Fair words oblige no man
Track Name: The Spare Ground
So we dingied school
And hung about on the spare ground
With it’s protruding weeds
And indeterminate mounds

We kicked around a can
In lieu of a ball
Loosened our ties
And clambered over a wall

Into an old lady’s garden
Or so we presumed
Confirmed when she appeared
Just recently exhumed

A vision of death
In a tartan gown
Greeting us with a smile
Not the prerequisite frown

She offered us biscuits
And oily tea
Daytime telly
A seat on her settee

Regaled us with stories
Of times gone by
Insisted we stay for supper
A nice cottage pie

Informed us she had two sons
Not much older than us
We thought this was strange
But declined to make a fuss

Introduced us to her husband
With his playful grey moustache
He took us by the hands
And at our wrists he wildly slashed

“You’ll be ours forever now”
She shrieked, and screamed, and sighed
As the madman took his knife
And started hacking at our thighs

Let this be a lesson
To those who would trust a stranger
It’s not only foolish
But inherit with danger

Just remember my story
Of those who failed to atone
The two limbless children
Who never came home
Track Name: Crooked Xmas Tree
Late that night by the crooked christmas tree
You opened up your mouth and prepared to consume me
Your blood was soon to stain my pubic hair
And your naked body was not all that you would bare

And I remember, there were ducks on your pants
And I remember, the way the breeze blew through the flat
And I remember, you taught me how to feel
And I remember, the way I threw up that day’s meal

Our clumsy movements as we attempted to disrobe
Belied the intricacies of our unspoken code
We cleansed ourselves of our self loathing and despair
And handed our bodies into one another’s care

And I remember, there were ducks on your pants
And I remember, the way the breeze blew through the flat
And I remember, you taught me how to feel
And I remember, the way I threw up that day’s meal
Track Name: We Used To Build Ships Here
We used to build ships here
Not just despair
Now the veins of our city
Lie in disrepair

All our industry
Faded or tertiary
All our hopes and dreams
Subject to tyranny

We used to build ships here
We used to make steel
We worked with conviction
To provide every meal

Now for the flocks of foreign tourists
Our city we debase
As they take photographs for albums
To document a dying place

We used to build ships here
We used to make steel
Track Name: Plastic Bags
We packed up a year and a half into faded Co-op bags, which we then exchanged in silence. They were filled primarily with folded underwear that seemed familiar but somehow lost.

The self same underwear that had sat side by side and, on occasion, rubbed against each other was now quarantined. Confined to their respective plastic bag they passed each other without a sound.

The look on your face is indecipherable, an ancient Japanese puzzle designed to drive men mad.

There is hurt, yes.
There is anger, yes.
But also something else, something indefinable. The kind of expression only ever witnessed on the face of a visitor in an intensive care ward.

Words were spoken, but to no real effect. Just dull syllables that bounced off the walls. The empty pleasantries of society.

However, the looks exchanged, or indeed the lack of, belied the enormity of a situation now beyond our grasp. An endless network of complexity and compromise, of give and take, of risk and reward.

After you leave I throw the newly repatriated underwear into the drawer with a sigh, sad but thankful as I was running out.
Track Name: An Unremarkable Shade of Beige
This one is for the hipster fucks and the aesthete cunts
I will hunt you with my voice
This art is a compulsion
Not a fucking career choice
With your twee little melodies
And your synthesized sins
If it were up to me
I’d consign it all to the bin
Beside the tattered brogues and the vintage chic
You’ve appropriated as your look
Try discussing Dylan with me
And I’m liable to puke

Your vacuous façade hums quietly along
Market research disguised as a song
An unremarkable shade of beige

Snivelling sycophants sniff
Around the corpse of a scene
Jumping from tweepop to mathrock
And everything in between
Whatever tickles the fancy
Of their esteemed peers
Fuelled by delusions of grandeur
And self congratulatory cheers
Comets orbit moons
Orbit planets orbit stars
Space detritus fallen to earth
And drinking in trendy bars

Your scripted drama unfolds so predictably
You identify, use and abuse so instinctively
An unremarkable shade of beige
Track Name: Crooked Xmas Reprise
Late that night by the crooked christmas tree
You opened up your mouth and prepared to consume me
Your blood was soon to stain my pubic hair
And your naked body was not all that you would bare

And I remember, there were ducks on your pants
And I remember, the way the breeze blew through the flat
And I remember, you taught me how to feel
And I remember, the way I threw up that day’s meal

Our clumsy movements as we attempted to disrobe
Belied the intricacies of our unspoken code
We cleansed ourselves of our self loathing and despair
And handed our bodies into one another’s care

And I remember, there were ducks on your pants
And I remember, the way the breeze blew through the flat
And I remember, you taught me how to feel
And I remember, the way I threw up that day’s meal
Track Name: Pro Life Vs Pro Choice
They hold up placards of Jesus Christ
Beside a picture of a foetus devoid of all life
They believe life begins at the point of conception
And a woman is responsible for a man’s erection
Their stilted values swirl out of time
Obsessed with traditions dated and benign
Like the sacred union between husband and wife
This is the scum that believe in pro life

It’s not just destroying a collection of cells
It’s symptomatic of society’s everyday hells
Cold blooded murder masquerading as science
Infanticide committed with a household appliance
They’ll kill a human being on nothing more than a whim
A fully formed foetus with two eyes and four limbs
They’ll gladly deny a child a voice
This is the scum that believe in pro choice
Track Name: Secret Magician
I filled out a questionnaire
To see if I was depressed
Had trembling in my hands
Or tightness in my chest

I circled some numbers
To quantify the pain
Described my abstract feelings
Qualified my disdain

Discussed the fear of failure
That weighs heavy on my back
The man I’d like to be
And the one I’ll have to hack

Misanthropy, in human form
The irony, not fully worn
I’ll protect myself from thoughts that sear
I’ll make myself just disappear

We numb ourselves
With bottles of wine
To make us ignorant
To the passing of time

To quiet of souls
And quell our ambitions
To shield ourselves
From our human conditions

We consume poisons
That make us feel sick
Lay prone, abusing
A flaccid dick

Misanthropy, in human form
The irony, not fully worn
I’ll protect myself from thoughts that sear
I’ll make myself just disappear
Track Name: (Another) 5 (Short) Short Stories
Barbara’s pet raven has escaped it’s cage. It perched itself menacingly on the bannister by the door. It cocked it’s neck to the side and seemed to mark us for death.

George was 18p short for his copy of the Guardian. He put it in his bag anyway. Navdeep had to stop him on the way out. George protested that it had been planted there.

Sally invented a card game for fun when she was drunk at a party. Within a year people were playing it online for cash. Sally regretted not patenting the game.

“You’re doing so well, I really want you to keep up the good work”, beamed Stephen’s manager. “Yeah, I bet that would get you wet”, laughed Stephen. His witty banter was once met again with stunned silence.

Tim stood on a block of ice with a noose tied around his neck. It was taking forever to melt. So he hopped in the car and drove to Ikea, where he purchased a nice chair.
Track Name: These Hospitals
We’ve spent half of our lives in these hospitals
Traversing the narrow corridors
We wait in vain for a hint of good news
While the sterile fumes make us choke

19th century buildings
21st century lies

We’ll only ever cry in these hospitals
Bidding farewell to the past
One by one it comes to us all
Our love was never meant to last

19th century buildings
21st century lies
19th century buildings
21st century lies
19th century buildings
21st century lies
Track Name: The Polite Meeting of Two Well-Mannered Men
Glasgow comes to a standstill when two well-mannered men collide.

Such has been the gradual diminishing of manners from generation to generation that this is now a quite seldom occurrence. Although history books seem to recall this phenomenon occurring regularly – sometimes right up to the 1960s.

It is now probable to suggest that there is, at most, one person of a polite nature present at any one time in the city. Of course from time to time it is logical to hypothesise that there may be two, maybe even three, of these anomalies traversing the streets. But of course the large geographical area involved would preclude them from ever meeting. These men (and they are men, for what is a women without manners?) would float through the streets – one in Springburn, perhaps another in Shawlands – enchanting the disillusioned masses with their peculiar code (“please”? ”thank you”?) and their amiable disposition.

But what if by some quirk of fate their paths were to cross?

Modern Glasgow has not witnessed such an event for many a year, to the extent that the younger inhabitants debated whether it was an urban legend. Although many of the older residents still regaled the bars with stories of the great meeting of 1942 which backed the Gallowgate up on both sides after two polite men had attempted to cross the road at the same time.

Glasgow as it is now, devoid of it’s mannered past, was not ready for the statistical anomaly made flesh that was to befall it.

The corner of St. Vincent Street and West Nile Street.
They both stopped at once to allow the other passage, as was their custom, and as they both retained their respective positions a strange smile infiltrated both their faces.

“On you go mate” prompted one.
“Nah, after you big man” replied the other.

By this point there began to form a swarm of angry people, attempting to negotiate this man made obstacle. But still the loop of politeness continued unabated.

“Och, get yerself away, I insist”
“Not at all, I’m not gonnae have a gent like yourself getting out the way for me”

A group of Japanese tourists pulled themselves away from taking photos of the architecture to witness this spectacle. They threw pound coins adjacent to the point were the two men met, mistaking this show of manners as some kind of street theatre.

This mannered exchanged continued for a further five hours, with neither man budging from his chosen spot – frozen like Venetian statues in bizarre poses. The crowd swelled significantly as the word spread and even reporters from The Daily Record and The Evening Times turned up to cover the event.

At last the police arrived. As they exited the van they were greeted by a cacophony of boos from the gathered audience – as they were witnessing history in the flesh, so they knew that all history must pass and that the police were the men to push this great meeting into the recorded tomes.

Even as they were being lifted into the back of the van (the policeman citing ‘breach of the peace’ or some other such antiquated act) the politeness continued unfettered. The police struggled with them as they both attempted to hold the door of the police van open for the other. The crowd roared in approval as the two men were driven off to the cells, deep in their hearts they knew they’d never see their likes again.