Posts filed under 'Bedtime stories'

Papples Album Diary – Day 2 (Part 2)

With nine songs already lined up we needed a rest. We had to reach the magic ten, that was already agreed, but as we set out for some food our minds went blank. There was nothing doing. Ideas were coming up yet being knocked back because whilst they were good they just weren’t good enough to complete with the quality from a few hours ago.

There was a piece of retro funk lounge music we still hadn’t managed to find a place for. It was decided that we should follow in the footsteps of Two Turntables and a Lady Bus and produce something with a chunky groove. The most startling aspect of it was probably that Chris’ voice is way louder than mine, so it had to be raised several levels just to compete at an acceptable level. It must be all those years living down South which increased his octaves.

Point blank. Ten was reached, and we wanted more. Hiding somewhere within the internetage was a magical song. We found it and realised the potential almost immediately. Had I not done the finger wiggle dance to expose the raw pop materials to Chris he may not have had a brainwave and write furiously on the subject matter. Lyrics done in about fifteen minutes, with a sweet contribution from me and 1930’s style conversations betwixt the dulcet tones it was ready. Romeo Done.

But what about the title? We drew up a list as we always do and even considered the working titles for Masterpiece. My personal favourites were Going All The Way With… The Papples and The Ever-Expanding World of… The Papples and the stupid ideas we had for cover sleeves. What we settled on though was brought up many hours later, after a pint of sleazy dragon at the local pub establishment, dropped into the conversation like a drop of liquid brilliance.

You will see what we mean. You will hear us and we will be heard.

November 30th, 2011

Papples Album Diary – Day 2 (Part 1)

The morning was broken savagely by Chris waking up and walking into the room. I had hoped for a little more snooze time however when you know you have something to do I suppose it’s hard not to do it. Breakfast was a feast for the eyes and the nose, and then it hit the mouth and all I wanted to do was start over again. I think I may have had too much toast and beans because the rest of the day was fraught with unpleasant sounds.

To the music! Lion Song was already “papped”, it just needed to be recorded. Chris nailed it practically in one take. After a lot of reverb we could continue. We followed up with Dubsteppin’ Across The Border and The Only Problem is You. Using our excellent skills we managed to shoehorn Dumb Kitty, an energetic ukulele song that I’d only written a shaky three chord chorus for, into a hard-hitting piece of music. The same for Hairy on the Go, the legendary missing track from Masterpiece only previously available on bootlegs

Dinosaur Gal, a Phoning It In original, was done in a single take albeit one which required a fake introduction only for me to fluff the very first chord and create the ambiance required to hit the chuffer between the legs. Vocals pitch-perfect, again in one take and some smooth BVs from Chris meant another was in the can.

We were getting close. January was perhaps the easiest to record. All it required was to put the order of the things in the right order. Which took longer than expected. This will make sense when you hear it.

How stupid can we get? Well how about a song using the names of animals to try to put across how much you love someone? That’s where Owl Do Anything comes in. A rough draft was knocked up in ten minutes several weeks before and Chris, with his keen eye for a hearty pop nugget, skimmed and chopped and added until nothing more was required. And then it had to happen, the traditional Papples cover. Crooned all over. If there is a better version of anything by Starship then it remains to be heard.

November 28th, 2011

Logical Dreamscape (13)

I slowly become aware that I’m in Cross Gates of all places. It’s a little different to how I remember in the layout; that said though this looks a little more eighties than it normally is, and we all know how Cross Gates reveals in its dated look and appeal. You heard.

The first part of the dream is lost to my subconscious. We catch up as I walk into Kwik Save and take a rest on a handily-placed sofa located next to the front doors. A member of staff comes over and tells me to leave because of the mess I had made. Next to me on the sofa are tons and tons of snot-ridden tissues and with nobody else to blame it all falls on me. A security guard escorts me out, carrying all the tissues. I need somewhere to get rid of all of this tosh. Wherever I look though the bins are full or not there at all. In the car park at the Arndale Centre there is what looks like a gents.

So I pile in with all the tissue and flush them, in small batches down the toilet. When I’ve washed my hands I realise I’ve got my ukulele stuck in my back pocket but every time I go to take it out a different part has gotten stuck on my jeans. Then to my amazement there is a queue to get out of the toilets! When I finally get outside again an A-Team lookalike are causing such a commotion and then I woke up.

November 24th, 2011

Papples Album Diary – Day 1

As it only two 48hrs to write, record and produce the entire album I think it would be silly to drag this into several different entries so I will stick with two singular but quite lengthy and egotistical posts.

I was worried that since our previous album ‘Masterpiece’ we had perhaps lost our touch and that it was going to be a struggle. That was all ripped aside though as I waited anxiously for Chris to pick me up from London Kings Cross; he was running late because he was finishing writing a song. When we got back he sung it and all the worries disappeared. It was clear from this two minute set of pop lovliness about a man being followed by a chorus of lions that we were back in the game and nothing was going to get in the way.

I had come pre-prepared with another “classic” ukulele track with more than two chords this time. It had at least six. Enough to make my hand move enough around the neck of the instrument so I looked like a proper musician (if anyone was watching that is). There were also some lyrics scribbled here and there with which to shoehorn into some music. As it happens the most heartfelt song of the previous album ‘Beefy Tears’ was originally a raw demo torn up and shoved into something else.

The rest of the album would be a mystery. There were songs out there and with some music already picked by Chris it was certain that we were the right people to find them. We ate some pots tatoas. We went for a drink to engage in idle small talk but really our minds were elsewhere. I smoked the rest of my Metro Tabs. Chris actually drank a pint! We retired at a respectable hour.

Just off in the horizon something was brewing.

November 23rd, 2011

Logical Dreamscape (12)

The location doesn’t matter, mainly because I don’t remember that particular detail. All I do know is that a couple from the music quiz I go to on a Tuesday evening decided that they wanted me to get them some cinder toffee. It was a specific kind and brand of cinder toffee though, not just any old nonsense. I set about looking for this because I’m not the kind of person to give up on a quest especially when essentially set by strangers.

I think I found a shop and inside was the cinder toffee I was looking for. As I leave the shop the street disappears and I appear to be in a castle. I’m dressed like the Prince of Persia. I appear to be the Prince of Persia and so, dropping the cinder toffee, the person playing the game moves me. I can’t control any of my limbs. They walk me through a door without anything on the other side and so I fall down to my death.

It was a little more grim than usual even with the cinder toffee. Still, at least I don’t dream about lemonade and cheese and onion toasties.

October 18th, 2011

The Unluckiest Man in the Universe (spoiler alert!)

Luck; does it exist or not? It’s a very good question especially for a Monday morning. Rather than complaining about coming back to work (always a good start) or moaning about traffic (it’s getting harder and harder without an actual car) an idea popped into my head. Out of all the characters I have ever watched, read or heard about who is one with the least amount of luck?

It was obvious really. I mean who else could it be other than Luke Skywalker from the original Star Wars trilogy?

Luke’s life is a plethora of mishaps and unfortunates. Starting from the beginning he is born at the beginning of a massive change of events prompted by the death of all the jedis, his mother dies, he is forced into hiding then separated from his sister, he lives a dull and monotonous life on a barren planet helping his crotchety uncle and aunt farm weird things and drink blue liquid. Things should turn around by now right? But no.

Then Luke meets an old man who turns out to be the best friend in the world and allows himself to die, then he follows him around as a voice which personally I would think would have made me believe I was going mad. He falls in love with a woman which turns out to be his sister. He gets beaten up my a snow monster on the planet of Hoth. He is bullied by a small green man with a stick and Frank Oz’s voice. He loses his arm in a fight with the second most evil man in the universe, who just so happens to be his father, bring back years of abandonment issues.

His other best friend gets encased in carbonite and then when he is rescued starts going out with his sister. Luke finds out the only way to become a full jedi is to kill his dad. He gets electrocuted severely by the Emperor then watches as his father dies right before him. At the end of it all he has gained a sister and a brother-in-law (practically) and his only companions are his two camp droids.

I’d say that must easily be a winner.

September 26th, 2011

Garner This And Wait!

It’s been far too long and I love too many products without sending another piece of correspondence to spread the madness. Cap your peepers at this little sweetheart of a letter:

Dear Weetabix Suppliers

How do you start a letter such as this? Where do you begin to convey how much you like someone’s product? Is there a perfect beginning, a way to build up to it or should you just launch into the superlatives? Well that’s my nonchalant start out the way.

Your products are amazing. How’s that for a superlative? I eat Weetabix every morning because it tastes excellent and there’s no other cereal I would prefer to eat, that is apart from Ready Brek. On occasion I do like to have a bit of Ready Brek, especially on cold mornings. I even went so far as to turn my previous box of Ready Brek into a person. So every day I come into work Mr R. Brek greets me with a cheeky smile. You might think that’s a step too far but I say it’s not enough! It’s never enough. As soon as those chilly mornings start coming back closer to Christmas I am going to bag me a box. Whether or not that one gets turned into a person I’m not sure. Perhaps Mr R Brek would like a friend or a companion; I haven’t thought that far ahead…

But anyway a big fat YES to anything Weetabix-related. I even noticed that you can get bitesize Weetabix and you can bet a stack of napkins that I am going to invest the next time I find myself in a supermarket.

I’ve drawn a little picture of Mr R Brek to accompany this letter. Please pass it around to anyone who might be interested.

Yours Faithfully

Ian McIver

2 comments September 21st, 2011

Rise of the Yeti

Over the weekend myself and my counterpart, Mr Professor R of R & R, were researching some matters of interest and came across this rather striking article from 1951 concerning the Yetiferous Cornicopious or Yeti as they are now commonly referred to as.

The Common Yeti

Following the astounding discovery of the skeleton at Ford’s Nook in 1947, the intrepid explorer, Mr Julip Juanoto, has added further to the mystery of the yeti by displaying several of his findings in an exhibition at the Cake Stand in New York. Not only do most of his theories contradict everything that has been seen so far but they take the idea of the yeti and yetis into a completely different direction.

“I no longer want people to refer to them as abominable snowmen because that is a horrible and unfortunately name to have,” explained Mr Juanoto, “it is also entirely incorrect as the yeti is neither made of snow nor a man. The yeti is a construct comprised of wood.”

Yes. The yeti is apparently entirely made of wood.

Mr Juanoto has offered many drawings but not much conclusive evidence to support his statements. His main focus of attention is that nobody has ever really seen the yeti because they are very good at hiding themselves in the forests and woodland areas. All they need to do is stand next to a tree to conceal them and the naked eye can no longer locate them. This then would mean that the skeleton from Ford’s Nook was a fake, if the theory can be proved.

“It is completely codswallop,” demands Thelonius Arkender, who claims to have been chased by a yeti in 1946, “the one that was baying for my blood was at least seven feet tall and covered in woolly fur, like wool. There was no way that sucker was made of wood. If there was only the chance of getting splinters in my mitts then I would have turned and fought the monster. As it happens he had more teeth like the local choir and there was no way I was going to choke at the age of 37.”

So then we will have to leave it to the realm of the imagination, or some hard evidence, to decide which is true.

September 5th, 2011

Approaching September

We are no longer approaching September; we are clearly on its doorstep. If September happens to come out, possibly to check if the milk has been delivered or to see what the weather is like, they will catch us perching on on the step. I will be peering through the letterbox when really all I want to do is run screaming, screaming, screaming into the street and hope that August comes back with a nice cold drink and a pat on the back.

Fat chance though. August hopped town as soon as it could leaving nothing but drizzle and disappointment. “Where’s my summer?” I shout, shaking my fist in the air. It doesn’t look back and it doesn’t care.

So let’s all gather round in a nice circle and look forward to all the things that Autumn has to offer such as conkers, a new television schedule, a chance to wear hats and all those new greatest hits albums close to the big chill at the end of the year.

August 31st, 2011

Logical Dreamscape (11)

It’s been a while since the last Logical Dreamscape, so you’d expect my subconscious to come back with a belter. Belter is quite a strong word though. Something more apt would probably be, “uh uhhhhhhh huh ah” because let’s face it nothing will ever top the Rachel Stevens dream.

Me, Kev and Marshall are stood in the lobby of a reasonable tall building. We’re all running around like giddy children. When the lift comes down however I’m the only one who gets in; both Kev and Marshall wait for the next one. The lift I’m in is far too small for me so I have to lean over to one side which hurts my neck. Everyone else in the lift is dressed in ballroom attire, all huge gowns and suits and top hats. How a top hat fit into such a small space I’ll never know.

Eventually I reach the floor and get out. It’s a flat where Chris lives but it looks nothing like where he actually lives. It’s one of those studio apartments with only a tiny toilet. All the walls are still painted white. There’s a modest kitchen in the bottom left-hand corner and the living room is in the top left. We all go into the flat. I remark that it must be very handy have a Tesco so close to where he lives. Both Kev and Marshall look at me confused. When we look across to where the kitchen was there is a checkout and a queue of people waiting to buy their shopping. Instead of regular shopping the only items available are bits of clothing and equipment from the emergency services, such as a police riot helmet and a fire extinguisher.

We decide to leave. I almost fall through a hole in the sink but use a scouring pad to save myself.

What does it all mean?!?

2 comments August 3rd, 2011

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