Carruthers Gets Bashed

by Blake

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    Includes original artwork and six bonus tracks including the 2010 single version of 'A Better Way'.

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  • Buy Disc - original 13 track CD

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about

Reading the original sleeve notes below, I realise I again thought I was releasing my final album with Carruthers Gets Bashed. I assumed the cupboard was now finally bare - what an idiot! I find it inexplicable that I came to this conclusion when I knew full well that I had left off three songs that would appear on what would be my next album, By The Banks Of The A350, just nine months later: Falling, Baby Don't Be Down and Sevens And Nines.

I felt like Carruthers Gets Bashed was a step up from Final Whistle in terms of production values. I resisted the urge to utilise more than eight tracks on most of the songs and I remedied my mistake of placing the vocals too high in the mix that I had made on my previous effort. I mixed using headphones rather than speakers for the first time and this seemed to help.

Original sleeve notes:

This is my fourth album (if you include Karmatruffle’s What You Do Comes Back To You) and, possibly, my last. Simply because I’ve nearly run out of songs! Good ones, at any rate. I still had some left after Final Whistle that I was going to let die, but for some reason they kept niggling away at me. After an enforced break from all things musical during the latter part of 2006, the New Year arrived with fresh inspiration and I decided to give some of these discarded orphans a chance. I originally intended to record a single called Blake’s 7 inch. This turned into an EP, Blake’s 7 inch (extended), and, after I’d recorded six or seven songs, I realised it was going to be a fully fledged LP.

When I was in Karmatruffle, we’d toyed with the idea of calling our album ‘Carruthers Gets Bashed’ – can’t remember why exactly, but it was something to do with Paul’s experiences at Cheltenham Boys College. The tune itself was originally from a song called ‘Dirty Old Man’ which was rejected by the band mainly because of its ridiculous lyrics. It reminded me of the Grange Hill theme – in a ‘Ripping Yarns’ kind of way – so I thought it worked well.

‘You Could Be Part Of My Dreams’ was the last song to be written. I went to see Duke Special play in Bristol the other day and it’s kind of inspired by him. The chorus I dreamed. I was onstage singing it with, I think, Linda Ronstadt. I was Van Morrison!

‘She’s Not All That’ and ‘A Better Way’ were both recorded by Karmatruffle for our single release on the Ectomusic label. Unfortunately, after we fell out with the company we had no access to the sound recordings and we couldn’t be bothered to record them again for our album (having spent over six months working on them in the first place). I re-recorded them based on the original demos I had made on my Tascam four track. I kept Magda’s original bass line from the tape for A Better Way and built the song around that. I discarded the record company’s alterations to ‘She’s Not All That’ and enjoyed recording it as I originally intended.

‘Marketing Man’ was a song that never went further than a demo but I was desperate to record it as I could hear the cowbell part and I’d always wanted to have a song with one on! Perversely, I don’t even own a cowbell so I had to settle for a frying pan. ‘Make Up Your Mind’ is a song that after I’d finished writing it I was convinced it would be a huge hit for Robbie Williams and my fortune would be assured. How wrong I was.

Café Retro I recorded in 2002 and I simply added some reverb to the original four track recording. (Apologies to John Barry.) ‘Man of 1000 Years’ I wrote about and for Danny Kirwan. It’s pieced together with the names of his songs and it’s just about my favourite thing I’ve written. ‘Bluest Eyes’ I actually recorded for Final Whistle but it didn’t make the cut. However, on re-listening I realised it was a lot better than I remembered and I thought it slotted in well amongst the mainly noisy stuff I’d been recording for 'Carruthers'.

‘Sick and Tired’ is a song I’d never even demoed. It’s clearly influenced by Elliott Smith. ‘Breathe’ is about some heavy stuff that Sarah and I have been going through lately. I just felt it was time to do a Neil Young thing. I sacrificed a song called ‘Sevens & Nines’ to make room – it was inspired by Goldfrapp and had an eschatological bent, but I didn’t really like the idea of an electronic blues too much.

‘Give It To You’ was a song Karmatruffle turned their noses up at. I wrote it in France at the same time as ‘Beautiful Star’. ‘Wishing On A Star’ was another rejected one – I was really pleased with the way the recording of this one turned out.

Bernard Blake
March 2007

Overplay review:

"There’s a warm glow to the 13 tracks here from Bath singer/songwriter Blake, AKA Julian Pugsley. ‘Carruthers Gets Bashed’ is an album swimming in hazy ‘60s melodies, sparkly indie and beer-fuzz Britpop. And why not. It’s good to see a man in touch with his emotions. He’s probably not afraid to have a good cry every now and then, either.

“You Could Be Part Of My Dreams” is a suitably hearty start to things. A singalong in the style of Dylan meets Snow Patrol, it’s 100% instant happy-making. Similarly, the Hammond organ-fuelled, “She’s Not All That” has a touch of the Monkees. However, “Marketing Man”, “The Bluest Eyes” and “Café Retro” filter their grooviness through a slightly quirkier, more restrained Belle & Sebastian filter to make sweet, affecting pop songs.

It’s not all Rickenbackers and flute sounds, though. “Sick And Tired” uses chiming piano for a classy Supertramp sheen. “A Better Way” and “Breathe” also ring the changes with fuzzed-up mix of Led Zep guts and Oasis swagger. “Give It To You” is an even darker proposition as a Pixies bassline rubs up against slide guitar to generate some evil heat.

While Blake may falter slightly on the more serious moments (the earnest folk of “Make Up Your Mind” and slightly maudlin “Wishing On A Star”), it’s the passion and colour of his more propulsive tunes that makes him memorable. Take “Man Of 1,000 Years”. It’s the most happily frantic cut to come out of a stereo since The Boo Radleys’ “Wake Up Boo”. But where there’s sunshine and adrenaline, there’s also soul."

credits

released March 28, 2007

Produced by Blake.

Blake plays Tanglewood TW68 electric guitar, an unidentified bass guitar, Conrad drums, Jim Dunlop harps, Vintage VE660 acoustic, Hohner melodica soprano, Stylophone, kazoo, Yamaha PSR180 keyboard, various percussion...
Magda McCaffry plays bass guitar on 'A Better Way'.

Thanks to: Sarah, Cas, Magda, Dean, Amanda, all the Carters and Pugsleys, everyone at St. Katherine's and you for buying a copy of this CD!

'And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.' Mark 4:24

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about

Blake Bath and North East Somerset

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from the UK. My new album 'Holy Roller' was released on 15th April 2017. Sign up to my mailing list and receive a free download of my track 'Vinyl Junkie': eepurl.com/dV04f

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Track Name: You Could Be Part Of My Dreams
Write a song and make the changes clear
Make a vow and sign your name right here
Improbable most times
But possible sometimes
You could be part of my dreams

Write a poem and make the endings rhyme
Make a pledge and mix your soul with mine
Improbable most times
But possible sometimes
You could be part of my dreams

I could be happy with our love shining around
Let it shine
Write a thousand times
‘You are on my mind’

Write a book and give the plot a twist
Put my name right to the top of your list
Improbable most times
But possible sometimes
You could be part of my dreams

Write a joke and make the punch line good
Take a walk and carve our names in wood
Improbable most times
But possible sometimes
You could be part of my dreams
Track Name: She's Not All That
She likes to see herself as number one
She likes to tell you all the things she's done
And everything she does is so much fun
But she's not all that

Turns up at parties but she's always late
They gather round her but she makes them wait
She knows she'll make it cos it is her fate
But she's not all that

We are not worthy to tie up her shoes
One day she knows she will be breaking news
But when she's broken how much will we lose?
Cos she's not all that
Track Name: Marketing Man
He’s got a sim card full of numbers
He checks his emails on his phone
But it seems to suggest
That he just ain’t passed the test
He’s alone

He’s got a widescreen television
In his secondary home
But man he’s under attack
And he can’t live with the fact
He’s alone

Marketing man we seen you coming
Marketing man we got you running
Change your plan
Marketing man

He’s got a fistful of prescriptions
He’s got a lungful of thick black fear
And man he’s walking the track
But there’s a hound at his back
And it’s near

He had a first class education
He used a false start to get ahead
But now he’s got to the top
He’s got a long way to drop
When he’d dead

Marketing man we seen you coming
Marketing man we got you running
Change your plan
Marketing man
Track Name: Make Up Your Mind
You build your house upon the sand
You like to get things on demand
Why don’t you come and hold my hand it’s easy
To hide your face inside your hands
And say you just don’t understand
All these things that God has planned now baby

If you try to believe
Who knows you might just succeed
Don’t tell me you ain’t got the time

Make up your mind
God knows I’ve made up mine baby
Make up your mind
God knows I’ve made up my mine
God knows I’ve made up my mine

Your hair is curled you’re looking great
You hang your hopes upon a date
Maybe this time round the wait will be over
I see your face begin to fall
He’s not the picture on your wall
But you could really have it all I’ll show you
Track Name: Sick And Tired
A sunny day comes undone
As the rain falls down and drenches everyone
Oh no it seems I’ve got a little hole right here in my soul
I feel it leaking and the rain is getting in
Oh my I wring my hands and then I throw my prayers at the sky
But is there anybody out there listening

I’m sick and tired of all the good things that I waste
I’m sick and tired of all the pain that I create
I’m sick and tired of all the troubles that I just can’t shake
You’ve heard it all before but are you listening

I’m sick and tired of all the promises I break
I’m sick and tired of all the money that I make
I’m sick and tired of all the numbers that just don’t equate
You’ve heard it all before but are you listening

A little cloud before the sun
But like a shroud the darkness covers everyone
Oh no it seems I still got very many miles to go
But where I’m heading is a mystery to me
Oh my I wring my hands and then I set my eyes to the sky
But superstition only keeps you on your knees

I’m sick and tired of all the good things that I waste
I’m sick and tired of all the pain that I create
I’m sick and tired of all the troubles that I just can’t shake
You’ve heard it all before but are you listening

I’m sick and tired of all the promises I break
I’m sick and tired of all the money that I make
I’m sick and tired of all the people who turn out as fake
You’ve heard it all before but are you listening

O Lord can I make it without you?
O Lord I can’t get by without you
O Lord can I get by without you?
O Lord no
Track Name: The Bluest Eyes
You’ve got the bluest eyes
And you got the sweetest smile
But they make me feel so blue

When you’re gone I can’t explain
But there’s something wrong inside my brain
Cos I love you
Yeah I love you

Cos you got the bluest eyes
Like the summer skies
The bluest eyes
Make me feel so high

You got the warmest kiss
And you got the softest lips
But they make me feel so blue

When you’re gone I feel so low
And there’s something wrong inside my soul
Cos I miss you
Yeah I miss you

Cos you got the bluest eyes
Like the summer skies
The bluest eyes
Make me feel so high
Cos you got the bluest eyes

Oh darling don’t forget
That I will never let you down
Or mess you around

Cos you got the bluest eyes
Like the summer skies
The bluest eyes
Make me feel so high
Cos you got the bluest eyes
Track Name: A Better Way
It isn’t easy, man, changing your inner situation
We need a better plan, a decent chance of liberation
Our lives they ebb and flow, things get in the way
There’s only one who knows a better way
A better way

The people on TV, they’ll try to tell you it’s OK
They give you stuff for free, but man you always have to pay
A storm is gonna blow, the clouds are turning grey
There’s only one who knows a better way
A better way

“Take heed what ye hear…unto he who hears shall more be given.” Mark 4.24
Track Name: Man Of 1000 Years
It’s a shame you’re not around anymore
You were the greatest one I heard and that’s for sure
But don’t you worry about a thing
You recorded it now everyone can hear you sing

Dreamed so many times I’ve seen you on the stage
Then I’d come round to you house after you’d played
But when I wake up you’re not there
Although the sun is shining, all the trees are bare

And this song goes out from me to you
Danny go right down to the sea
You’ll be the man of 1000 years

Little child of mine I was only one
When you wrote that song I’d only just begun
And all my life was filled with laughter
But you had finished it, begun a second chapter

And this song goes out from me to you
Danny go right down to the sea
You’ll be the man of 1000 years

There’s such purity and magic in your songs
No-one writes them like you used to now you’re gone
I hope you know just what you’ve done
You’ve given the sunny side of heaven to everyone

Now this song goes out from me to you
Danny go right down to the sea
You’ll be the man of 1000 years
Track Name: Breathe
In a moment all hope is lost
And it leaves you counting the cost

Oh Lord have mercy on your children
We don’t know what we are doing
We have lost our way
Oh Lord make haste to help us hear us
Listen as we pray

Your love is sweeter than wine
Your touch and everything’s fine
Your peace is all that I need
Your Truth as I live and breathe

Can you hear me calling your name
Can you heal me, cast out this pain

Oh Lord have mercy on your children
We don’t know what we are doing
We have lost our way
Oh Lord make haste to help us hear us
Listen as we pray

Your love is sweeter than wine
Your touch and everything’s fine
Your peace is all that I need
Your Truth as I live and breathe
Track Name: Give It To You
Save me from this hell I need something to believe
I know very well the fires are waiting for me

Something's going on I feel the heat all around
It won't be very long before I'm dead in the ground
So make my dying bed cos when my time is through
He wants to buy my soul but it's gone
I'm going to give it to you

I'm going to give it to you

It's day but there's no light without you shining on me
Eternity of night without your divinity

Something's going on I feel the heat all around
It won't be very long before I'm dead in the ground
So make my dying bed cos when my time is through
He wants to buy my soul but it's gone
I'm going to give it to you

I'm going to give it to you
Track Name: Wishing On A Star
Heard it in the moonlight
Sounded like a call
Or maybe just the leaves were whispering
I really don't recall
But it was there in the morning
And I took it down the stairs
Stayed with me through school and suddenly
I didn't seem to care

Cos there was nothing else I could do
Yes there was nothing else I could do
And it's true

Lying in the gutter
Staring at the stars
Cos nothing ever mattered much to me
But being where you are

Climbing up the mountain
The summit is so far
Tell me am I getting close to you
Or am I wishing on a star

So I kept it beside me
And I thought I heard it sing
People said I dreamed my life away
But I didn't hear a thing
And I concentrated harder
And I learned to sing along
Soon I knew the chords and melody
And then I had the song