Tuesday, May 05, 2015

'ello 'ello!

Hello Hello was written soon after reconnecting with my old mate, Mark Pearson. Mark and I had been bandmates back in the UK in the 70s, but we lost touch after I left for the US and he moved down to London.

When you don't see someone for a couple of decades, and you happen to live on different continents, catching up is a bit of a tall order. While e-mail is easy and convenient, it doesn't really compare to a hug and a couple of pints in the pub does it? With so much water under the bridge, it's difficult to know where to start, and truth be told, we barely did. Instead, our correspondence quickly resorted to the familiar, trotting out old memories of rehearsals, gigs and, well, pints in the pub.

We did, of course, exchange photographs of our kids, which in turn got me to leafing through some dog-eared photographs from some of those early gigs. I remember being a little shocked at how young and carefree we looked in them. Well we would wouldn't we? We were young and carefree after all; much like our own kids are now.

Mark was always someone I looked up to. He was only a year older than the rest of us, but there was a charismatic self-assuredness about him that we all lacked. Quicker-witted, more stylish (not a difficult task, admittedly) and with a rather more diverse record collection, I suppose he was the leader of the band. I mention this because one of the aforementioned gig photographs seemed to capture a bit of that for me. 

In it, I'm wearing Dunlop Green Flash plimsolls (don't ask), rolled-up jeans, an old nylon pajama top (please don't ask) and a rather serious, if slightly dazed expression (possibly second-guessing my choice of attire). Mark, on the other hand, cuts an altogether more swaggering figure, wearing an untucked white dress shirt and a pair of zipped-at-the-ankles fencing trousers with matching scowl.

It made me smile; it made me reflect on the different paths our lives took; and it made me want to use the term "fencing trousers" in a song...

Look at me in this one
trying hard to be sincere
And look at you in fencing trousers
and your finest sneer
We were so young
and we were full of it,
fearless on the face of it
and not much underneath
to hold us back,
from taking all the chances,
never looking in,
and never needing answers

Look at how we lost ourselves
and found ourselves again
I pissed off to the USA
while you went down to London to find yourself
Guess I did the same
on different streets with different names
and different points of view
to fall into,
busy taking chances,
drinking it all in
and looking for the answers

Hello hello
Hello hello
Hello hello (we're back again)

And then your parents leave you
with no one to impress
Little children helping you
to make sense of this great big mess
of headlines, deadlines, white lines
by the book, take your time
and take a look at him

He looks a lot like you,
(it might be just as well)
Look at her upon a pedestal,
she's casting spells
They are so young
and they are full of it,
fearless on the face of it
and innocence beneath,
pure and easy
Living in the moment
drinking it all in
It's looking like the answer

Hello hello
Hello hello
Hello hello (we're back again)


It made me happy when we said hello
Ain't it funny how we sing about what we don't know?
It made me happy when we said hello
Ain't it funny how we talk about what we don't know?

Steve Robinson - Lead & background vocals, acoustic & electric guitars
Ed Woltil - Bass, keyboards
Aaron Kant - Drums & percussion
Steve Connelly - Lap steel & pedal steel guitars
Emma Robinson - Background vocals

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