– The Wood Road North – Soundtrack –

Fancy a virtual pub crawl, in 1996?

Here are some tunes you might hear on one of those new-fangled CD jukeboxes.

Selected Top 20 hits from the year. Pub soundtrack to my novel.

01. DREADZONE – Little Britain
Britain today is a powerhouse of ideas, experiments, imagination.
02. LIGHTNING SEEDS – Ready or Not
I’ve got a million thoughts.
03. GARBAGE – Stupid Girl
A million lies to sell yourself.
04. SPACE – Female of the Species
She deals in witchcraft.
05. MANIC STREET PREACHERS – A Design for Life
We only want to get drunk.
06. THE PRODIGY – Firestarter
I’m the pain you tasted, well intoxicated.
07. JX – There’s Nothing I Won’t Do
Anything you want me to.
08. CAST – Walkaway
Now the words just slip away.
09. DAVID BOWIE – Hallo Spaceboy
You’re released but your custody calls.
10. ELECTRONIC – Forbidden City
Too much to drink, but not enough to lose.
11. LIVIN’ JOY – Don’t Stop Movin’
Mystical, magical, physically phenomenal.
12. KULA SHAKER – Tattva
The truth may come in strange disguises.
13. DUBSTAR – Stars
My vacant smile, and my laugh and lies.
14. RADIOHEAD – Street Spirit
Form a circle, before we all go under.
15. ROBERT MILES – Children
16. SUEDE – Trash
Our nowhere towns, our nothing places.
17. BABYLON ZOO – Spaceman
Beyond the black horizon, trying to take control.
18. SNEAKER PIMPS – 6 Underground
I’ve got a head full of drought.
19. FAITHLESS – Insomnia
Keep the Beast in my nature under ceaseless attack.
20. SHED SEVEN – Chasing Rainbows
I don’t keep my secrets there. I hide them everywhere.
TWRN 3
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The Nailmasters: Bill Smothers

The Nailmasters are one of the two folk bands which appear in my novel The Wood Road North, and this performance is one of the few artefacts documenting their existence outside the text.  Here we find singer Bill Smothers accompanying himself on the song with which he shares a name.  This was recorded at the band’s secret studio in 2001, and tells the story of a hopeless drinker in the grip of forces greater than himself.

Bill Smothers: guitar and vocals.  Solar winds summoned by Yuri Gaga.

I’m having a crisis!  This face isn’t mine.  So you’ve seen me drink lager?  I used to drink wine.  The stars of my future shone down over me until I couldn’t say what the future might be.  Now the black clouds gather round here.  It’s blowing like rain and it will do, I fear.  But the rain and the pain fall again and again around here.  This rotten pub was a filthy old hole when I first started drinking, a decade ago.  I’d never considered I’d ever come in, but I still wasn’t trying so hard to fit in.  Now the black clouds gather round here.  I’m crying my troubles out into my beer, but the ale is available late, if you’re regular here.  This is the house where my grandparents lay, and where I’ll more than likely be laid out one day.  Bill’s poor old mother lives under a cloud, and although it’s a dark one, she’s stubbornly proud.  Now the black clouds gather round here.  I’m living in Belper and living in fear of the shadows that follow me, waiting to swallow me here.