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What can be said about The Arteks that has not already been said?
Quite a lot, in fact, since not much has already been said.

This page is under construction.  The information here is poorly presented and incomplete.  Maybe these things will change with time.  Maybe not.

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE ARTEKS
The Arteks were a teenage-angst-driven guitar & drums-based band from Southampton, England, formed in 1979, and who performed at a number of venues in Hampshire & Dorset in 1980 & 1981 before splitting up in September 1981.  Formed by a group of friends because it seemed like a good thing to do, they were undeterred by the fact that most of them were unable to play any musical instruments because the punk rock and new wave movements of the time had shown that that didn't particularly matter.  The band set out on getting some photographs done and as something of an afterthought decided that acquiring some musical instruments might also be a good idea.  The name 'the Arteks' came about when the original 5-piece line-up were looking for a name while in Geoff Nuzum's living room.  The story goes that Mark Atherton was looking to the heavens for inspiration but the ceiling got in the way, artexing being a popular style of ceiling decor at the time.

 

WHO WERE THE ARTEKS?

Original line-up
Steve Adams - guitar        Mark Atherton - bass guitar        Ed Hooke - keyboards        Geoff Nuzum - drums        Dave Thompson - guitar

and then there were 4
Mark Atherton - bass guitar        Ed Hooke - keyboards        Geoff Nuzum - drums        Dave Thompson - guitar

and by the time of the band's first public performance there were only 3
Mark Atherton - bass guitar        Ed Hooke - guitar        Dave Thompson - drums

 

WHEN WERE THE ARTEKS?

1979-1981

 

ARTEKS DISCOGRAPHY
"February 1st 1981
" - 4 track demo tape featuring studio recordings of "Respirator Girl", "No Escape/Love is All We Have", "Shades of Grey" & "Lying Upside Down"

"Off The Ceiling (The Arteks' Greatest Hits)" - 18-track retrospective compilation featuring studio versions of "Impatient Inpatient" & "Little Sadists", and live versions of "Shades of Grey", "Carnival", "Conditioning", "Alcohol", "Ignorant Fools", "Credo (I Believe)", "Little Sadists", "The Empties", "Living in a House", "Don't Do It", "Respirator Girl", "Secret", "What You Want", "79" & "Separate Ways"

 

WHAT WERE THE SONGS OF THE ARTEKS?
Some of them are here......
 (all of the below were written by Ed Hooke between 1978 & 1981)

Lying Upside Down
Lying upside down in the womb
He's got plenty of room.
Nudity's his only gown.
But his tears are flowing strong
Because he knows something's wrong.
He's lying upside down.

Daddy doesn't want to know.
 He says I'm not his problem
- just a complication in daddy's life.
Daddy's getting quite embarrassed,
thinks of paying mummy
just in case she decides to tell his wife.

I could be first world president.
Peace and love I could give.
I could be the new superstart
but you won't let me live.

Mummy stays away from school.
She tells them that she's ill.
She tells herself that maybe that is true.
Mummy's in a panic now.
She's rushing to the clinic
and she knows exactly what she's going to do.

I could care for you when you're old.
I'd be your joy and light.
But, thinking only of your own,
you won't allow me my right.

Mummy!

Tell me please: what was my crime?
Do I have no rights?
Will nobody defend me, for I have no voice?
While you mess your own lives up
I'm lying upside down
Was I conceived to die?
Do I have any choice?

And who would have thought that the womb
could become like a tomb?
He's lying upside down.

 

The Empties
The System tells you everything you must do -
made by the Empties, for more Empties like you.
You aren't allowed to think, by music, fags and drink
- superficialities which block up your mind.
Newspapers and TV show you the way to be.

We live from day to day.  Today goes too fast.
With fascination we watch our lives go past.
There's no large intervals between cots and funerals
Just enough to say "hello" but not for goodbyes.
Could die tonight in bed.  Perhaps you're already dead.

You're just another of the Empties.
There is no purpose to your life.
You kid yourself that it's all worth it.
That can't be because we're all empty.

Dull conversation - was it ever an art?
So much of what we say is not from the heart.
There's not a lot to say.  We say lots anyway.
Cliches, cliches, endless cliches, tied to our tongues.
At the end of the day we've talked our lives away.

You're just another of the Empties.
There is no purpose to your life.
You kid yourself that it's all worth it.
That can't be because we're all empty.

And you call me a defeatist,
say I'm the negative sort
but that's because you are empty
and you can't bear the thought.

Some give their lives to god while others choose crime.
For others hollow hobbies help pass the time.
They'll find when time is called, it's just themselves they've fooled
or maybe we'll live forever, never to die!
Just drink and close your eyes.  Perhaps you won't realise...

You're just another of the Empties.
There is no purpose to your life.
You kid yourself that it's all worth it.
That can't be because we're all empty.

 

What You Want
What does it matter who you are?
What does it matter where you're from?
What does it matter now that you are here?
All you want is the day's work to end.
All you want is a steady girlfiend.
All you want is loud music and beer.

It's rather sad but this is all you're living for.
It's rather sad so you'd rather not think about it any more.

This is what you want.
This is what you need.
This is what you want..
This is what you want.
This is what you need.
This is what you get.

So many people from so many lives
work your days away in concrete hives
- claustrophobic prisons in the sky.
You get your wages and you pay your bills.
You catch diseases and you take your pills.
And who cares that one day we all must die?

It's rather sad but freedom can be such a bore.
It's rather sad so you'd rather not think about it any more.

This is what you want.
This is what you need.
This is what you want..
This is what you want.
This is what you need.
This is what you get.

 

The Futility Song
Same old view out from your window - and yet it's changing all the while
- and every day you're getting older.  Isn't your life futile?

You wake up same time every day - don't see your life slipping away.
All you are is being judged by all you do and say.
But when your witnesses have died, all that is left of you is pride.
You say you understand that everybody dies, but when your turn comes death still takes you by surprise.
It's all so futile!

When you're not working you are bored.  You waste the time you can't afford.
To hide your worthlessness you dare not be ignored.
And real fulfillment you can't find.  There's always something on your mind.
Society's the framework your life's built around but every bubble bursts when it touches the ground.
It's all so futile!

Whether you're rich or you are poor, life only has one exit door.
We live in hope not knowing what we're hoping for.
Death's very distant when you're young.  You throw your time away like dung.
As you grow, so does the innate fear in your mind..  This fear of death ensures survival for mankind.
It's all so futile!

And as the day draws to a close, you sometimes go to films or shows
or maybe down the pub or somewhere else, who knows?
At last you're home again somehow.  Look out the window.  It's dark now.
One less tomorrow left; one more memory to keep.  You get in bed.  You close your eyes and go to sleep.
It's all so futile!

 

Little Sadists
What's all that noise?
It's just the kids outside playing their games of war with their toy guns and sticks and stones.
Kids will be kids.  Windows get broken now and then
and now and then and now and then and now and now and then and then.

Blame television if you want to
or the hard-working parents, ignorant of these childish games
who have to crossly face the frightened pensioners:
"Oh no, not my kids.  Don't tell lies about my children!"

Oh there's little sadists growing everywhere and they believe they're heroes.
No!  They're selfish bastards flattered by their youth.
What would your parents think of the truth?

The fact is they have nothing better to do than being a nuisance, making others suffer - for a laugh.
They've lost their fear, insulting strangers in the street.
Their numbers so strong.  Perhaps there's something wrong with their generation.

So little sadists don't do much harm now
except to their helpless victims.  We'll be helpless years from now
when they're in power leading us to another war.
"On no not my kids.  They're not like that."
Yes they are, you fools!

Oh there's little sadists growing everywhere and they believe they're heroes.
No!  They're selfish bastards flattered by their youth.
What would your parents think of the truth?

Oh there's little sadists growing everywhere and they believe they're heroes.
No!  They're selfish bastards flattered by their youth.
What would your parents think of the truth?

Of course not all the kids are like this all the time - it's just the sore thumbs who stick out out out out, screaming and shouting

Oh there's little sadists growing everywhere and they believe they're heroes.
No!  They're selfish bastards flattered by their youth.
What would your parents think of the truth?

Living In A House
I don't need the world outside.  I want to hide myself away.
It's cold outside my window pane.  The freezing rain whips down all day.
Icy people from fortified igloos hurl insuls and abuse.
Sarcastic snowballs knock me down so I'm gonna be a recluse.

They never let me put my views.  I always lose this war of words.
Their snide remarks never seem to end.  Did I offend the stupid turds?
They seem to get their pleasure from hate, suffering and spite.
They seem to think they're always right.

Ah (living in a house).  Ah (living in a house).  I don't need your world (living in a house).  Living in a house.

I'm not coming out any more.  Bolt every door and I'll be free.
Got all I need with my stereo, my radio, records and TV.
When the food in the freezer runs out I don't know how I'll survive
but I'll cross such bridges when they arrive.

Ah (living in a house).  Ah (living in a house).  I don't need your world (living in a house).  Living in a house.

The gas was cut off eventually, the electricity and water too.
I guess I picked the wrong time of year.  Though Spring is near, warm days are few.
Invisible to the outside world, my lonely rebellion.....
Have they even noticed that I've gone?

Ah (living in a house).  Ah (living in a house).  I don't need your world (living in a house).  Living in a house.

Perhaps I was wrong.  It's very cold in here.
But I can't return to the world I fear.

Soon either cold or starvation will put out this dying flame
while outside life goes on the same

But have no doubt (living in a house) I'm not coming out (living in a house) to your world of hate and fear (living in a house).  I'd prefer to die in here (living in a house).

Ah (dying in a house).  Ah (dying in a house).  I don't need your world (dying in a house).  Dying in a house.

 

Respirator Girl
Through the glass panels, on a bed, beneath a blanket, there you are.
A black bag swells and then deflates and swells again.  There you are.
Your eyes are closed.  They've been like that for much too long.
You're still a child and you're not all that strong.

Your tongue is fastened so that it will not slip back and make you choke.
A rubber tube is in your mouth bringing the air that makes your breathe.
Keep breathing.  Keep on breathing.  It's your only hope.
Without the ventilator you just could not cope.

Respirator girl, sleeping in a world that's out of reach.
Lying so still on your bed, you're not looking very dead to me.

Your tired silent parents praying at the bedside wait in vain
with the worn out cassette recordings made by your friends playing again.
They sing and joke and laugh and urge you to awake.
But you don't seem to hear.  Please listen, for god's sake.

Respirator girl, sleeping in a world that's out of reach.
Lying so still on your bed, you're not looking very dead to me.

Why did this have to happen to you?
Why you?

Respirator girl, sleeping in a world that's out of reach.
And though you still seem to survive, you're not looking much alive to me.

 

 No Escape (Love Is All We Have)
It seems the world has so many problems.
Comparatively ours are few.
Yet sometimes ours seem just impossible to solve.
What can we do?

And our lives are ruled from far away by a mob of power-crazed fools.
They fight and quarrel with each other, making petty rules.

Take my hand.
I want to hide myself away with you, but we know that there's no escape from here.
Take my hand.
In this world of insecurity love is all we have.

And all is changing bewilderingly fast around us.
Fickle friends soon drift away.
We're getting older and we're not as beautiful as yesterday.

Take my hand.
I want to hide myself away with you, but we know that there's no escape from here.
Take my hand.
In this world of insecurity love is all we have.

Sometimes I feel such great despair with all the human race.
Why do we have to tear each other's lives apart?
First with the callouse words that flow so freely from our tongues
and then with fists, and then with knives, and then with guns and tanks and nuclear bombs.

There's no solutions in religion
and there's none in drugs and drink
and none in war.  What the hell's the fighting for?
What do you think?

Take my hand.
I want to hide myself away with you, but we know that there's no escape from here.
Take my hand.
In this world of insecurity love is all we have.

 

Secret
Is it his fault?  Is he wrong?
He just can't help feeling the way he does.
He hears their condemnation of the sort to which they don't know he belongs
so he can't tell them.

Is it his fault?  He doesn't know.
He just knows he wanted so much to be open
but their elevated ignorance and prejudice have made it difficult if not impossible.

So keep it to yourself, boy.  Why set yourself up for persecution?
Be patient and hope that someone else will lead the way for views to change.

They say it's not normal.  He doesn't understand.
They say it's not the way that god has planned
so he thinks "so why did he make me the way that I am not supposed to be?"
What kind of god is that?

He found it hard enough admitting to himself
because they warn him to steer clear of the type he is
and he's scared he'd scare his friends away if he told them the truth that he is gay.

So keep it to yourself, boy.  Why set yourself up for persecution?
Be patient and hope that someone else will lead the way for views to change.

So he keeps his mouth shut.  The secret still remains.
He's not very happy but there's not much he can do.
He just wants them to accept him, to live unashamedly the way he really is.

Keep it to yourself, boy.  Why set yourself up for persecution?
Be patient and hope that someone else will lead the way for views to change.

 

Don't Do It
How can you treat me as if I don't matter to you at all?
You raise my empty hope and as, inevitably, they fall, you walk away.
I'm feeling so let down..
My life's in disarray.
I've failed your little test.

The remnants of my pride enabled me to keep the bluff.
You would not understand.
You never ventured close enough to find out who I am..
I'm feeling so let down.
The knife that spread the jam now surges through my chest.

And nobody tells me "Don't do it".
Nobody screams at me "Stop!"
My body is shaking and spinning like a top.
And as the cold steel blade cuts through it
I weaken and whisper "Goodbye".
No-one told me "Don't do it".  Now I know what it feels like to die
And I........

How could you act as if no-one else matters to you at all?
You raised yourself up and looked down, and you began to fall.
You landed with a smack.
We're feeling so let down.
You've stabbed us in the back and we do not know why.

How were we supposed to know your outward show was just a bluff?
We do not understand.  You never let us close enough to find out who you were.
We're feeling so let down.
You've really caused a stir, but soon that too will die.

We would have told you "Don't do it!"
if only we'd know what you planned
but you set yourself back so you knew that no help was at hand.
You only had one life and blew it.
Though short, you thought it was too long
and you acted it out so well, no-one thought something was wrong.
What was wrong?

Now we're left to pick up the pieces, broken hearts and minds aghast.
But these deep wounds which now bleed freely heal as they become the past.

 

Shades of Grey
Although it's something that I find I must believe
Endless variety's not easy to conceive.
Generalisations can be so easy to make;
Classification for convenience's sake.

Although in theory things are either black or white
It is not always clear who's wrong and who is right.
No two men are alike.  No one man stays the same.
No-one is innocent but nobody's to blame.

And as the borderlines fade
the blacks and whites merge into shades of grey.

If you believe all Jews are mean, all Irish thick,
all blacks inferior, it's you whose mind is sick.
Are Britons all alike, all striving for one cause?
- moronic patriots who won the two world wars?

It seems the fact that we are all different means
we must arrange ourselves in classes and routines,
safe in false ordered lives and fake security
but you'll always have rebels bringing change and anarchy.

And as the borderlines fade
the blacks and whites merge into shades of grey.
 

The Short Way Home
It's well past ten o'clock. It's cold and it's already dark.
She never should have gone the short way home across the park
where she used to play when she was just a child.
A black hood keeps her uninvited lover's face unseen.
He's panting.  Up and down.  She's feeling like a sordid trampoline
and all she is has been defiled.
Is what seems to be happening true?  What will she say?  What will she do?  Is what seems to be happening true?
And she's crying now with open fright, screaming with untempered might, crying but her screams seem to be swallowed by the night.

The winking stars peer through the bushes to this dim secluded place.
His beer-drenched breath makes her feel sick.  She turns away her fearful face.
Her sweat-soaked dress is torn as well.
An what seems like an eternity since this nightmare-come-true has begun
the jerking stops.  She shuts her eyes and thinks "Oh God! Oh God! It's done."
He stands then turns and runs like hell.
She sits there crying on the ground, distraught with no-one else around.  She sits there crying on the ground.
And she's crying, shocked mixed with relief, clinging to her handkerchief, trembling as she tries to stand up, like an autumn leaf.

And now beneath the orange city lights she staggers on
her eyes blurred by the tears wept for her virginity that has gone.
Can her life ever be the same?
And though she was unwilling she's still feeling like some good-for-nothing whore.
She's feeling like a dirty rag that's just been wiped across the floor
and somehow she feels she's to blame.
What will she say?  What will she do?  She's in a daze.  Is all this true?  What will she say?  What will she do?
And the simple happy life she'd planned has crumbled as if made of sand.  She knows she'll never be the same.  Her friends won't understand.

 

Conditioning
Sorry, can't stop.  Gotta go.  There's a programme on TV.
Have you seen it?  It's really good.  It's something you should see.
It's a real life story and it's saying something too.
There's a person just like me and there's someone who's like you.
Every week I watch them act and speak the way I know I really want to live.
It's unfurled to be the story of my world but somehow better, like it's been put through a sieve.

But there are some people who say it's not so deep,
just scented poison for a herd of mindless sheep, but that's not true.
(It is - and they're conditioning you.).  It isn't true!
(It is - and they're conditioning you.).  It can't be true!
(It is - and they're conditioning you.).  Can it?

Got a ticket to see my favourite group when they come down -
the best thing for ages that has happened in this town.
I can really relate to them.  They sing of reality.
They write songs about life today and people just like me.
They're good laughs.  I've got their autographs
and they spoke for 2 minutes just with me.
Their honest views are making headline news
and with everything they're saying, I agree.

But there are some people that you just can't please.
They say music's just another channel for my energies, but that's not true.
(It is - and they're conditioning you.).  It isn't true!
(It is - and they're conditioning you.).  It can't be true!
(It is - and they're conditioning you.).  Can it?

Oh we call it conditioning.
You're taught to be the way to be and who to be
But no-one tells you why.
And all your life it's happening.
You've got no choice.
You must believe in something.
So call it what you like to call it.
Some might call it giving up or growing up.
You've got no choice at all.

 

 

Impatient Inpatient
Feel so tired, but night's a time I just can't face.
Been here so long, but I'm a stranger in this place.
So clean, it's always been
but the smell of disinfectant makes me more aware
I'm smelly and I'm dirty and I'm ill.
I'm ill.

Doctors smile, frown at my notes, and sometimes speak
and then they leave.  I would leave too, but I'm too weak.
And when I move, or try, I find I wish I hadn't
'cause it just brings back
the boiling freezing fever and the pain,
the pain.

I'm feeling so impatient.
Out of your sight.  Out of your mind.

Countless tests don't seem to prove a thing for sure.
Must let them know: I feel I'm drowning at death's door.
Would I prefer to die?  I suppose so I just want to end this all right now.
I don't think that I can take much more,
much more.

 

All Change
I watch kids grow old before my eyes.
There's no time to ponder how time flies.
Times are changing.  We must help them on their way.
If things don't progress, they'll decay.

Adult strangers grow from childhood friends,
torn apart by all the changing trends.
We search now not for fun but for security.
Youthful recklessness turns to maturity.

All change all the time.  There's nothing I can do.
All change all the time and I can't stop it happening to you.

Fashion's flashing cash-in wheel won't wait.
You're a trendy or you're out of date.
Dress how you like but don't forget that it's not fair
to tell others what they must wear.

Rebels scream for change.  Their hope just blinds.
When their changes flop, they've changed their minds.
What point's rebellion if it's only a new hearse?
Change for change's sake will only make things worse.

All change all the time.  There's nothing I can do.
All change all the time and I can't stop it happening to you.
(Changing all the time.  Changing all the time.)

There's no point clinging to memories.
You know there's no way the clock will freeze.
Gone are the Brick Fields where we used to have such laughs.
Gone are the happy kids in my sad photographs.

All change all the time.  There's nothing I can do.
All change all the time and I can't stop it happening.  I can't stop it happening.  I can't stop it happening to you.

 

Separate Ways
I used to be quite popular though I had a few enemies then.
I used to joke and the world would laugh but it's never going to be like that again.
We played football Sunday afternoons.  Don't think I've ever had such fun.
But what with discos and grown-up things, football was no longer what was done.
Struggling in the schooling system, homework and exams
but surely only sheep grow out of educated lambs?

We lost our childhood far too quickly.
We found ourselves so easily bored.
We didn't really then believe that those were life's best days.
Just like those fairgrounds, life's a con.  Now all of us have gone our separate ways.

We used to go to all sorts of places, just for somewhere to go.
We used to fight over stupid things and forget them in an hour or so.
Wandering and messing around we were relatively free.
We showed off and we got shown up.  We just enjoyed each other's company.
And ever since we dreamed of being in a group, that was all I wanted to be.
But they made you believe that it was just naive and now you're living aimlessly.

We lost our childhood far too quickly.
We found ourselves so easily bored.
We didn't really then believe that those were life's best days.
Just like those fairgrounds, life's a con.  Now all of us have gone our separate ways.

We hardly see each other nowadays and I think that's a shame.
But when we do, you've probably changed a lot, but to me you still seem just the same.

We lost our childhood far too quickly.
We found ourselves so easily bored.
We didn't really then believe that those were life's best days.
Just like those fairgrounds, life's a con.  Now all of us have gone our separate ways.

 

Ignorant Fools
Feeling so confused when I look around.
It seems like the world's gone crazy.
It's too late for being lazy.
I don't understand what's happening today.
Is this what the public wanted?
Is this what the puppets wanted?
I can't see just who it is that's pulling all the strings
but they've been tying them on for ages.  Now they're sitting back and laughing.

Fools you are and fools are we,
ignorant of reality.
Win or lose there's no victory.
It's like Space Invaders, but it's us who's on the screen.

Crying to myself for the bewildered ones
scared to take their lives outdoors now,
trapped inside by little wars now.
Your fires are smouldering now.  I bet you're feeling proud.
Don't go stirring up the embers.
You've made sure everyone's remembered
how you did the dirty work and how you will be blamed.
I'm crying now for you as well 'cause you can't see how you've been framed.

Fools you are and fools are we,
ignorant of reality.
Win or lose there's no victory.
It's like Space Invaders but it's us who's on the screen.

Fools you are!
Ignorant!
Win or lose.....  it's like Space Invaders
but it's us who's on the screen.  It's us who's on the screen.  It's us who's on the screen.  It's us who's on the screen.

 

Her
I sometimes see her out with her boyfriend, so helpless in my jealously.
Dreaming of just being her friend and sharing all I am.
You see she's not like the others but I can't pinpoint how she does differ.
And what does she think of me?  If only I had the nerve to tell  her the way I feel.

Trying to face up to the fact that she's not mine, I can forget her for a while.
But when she smiles, my mind dissolves and I'm dreaming once again.
But dreams won't get me anywhere.  I could find one day that she is someone else's wife.
And youth escapes so silently.  She could even die without ever knowing the way I feel,
the way I feel about her.

 

Carnival
We could hardly wait until the big date
- the great jamboree.  It came finally.
And everyone dressed in their very best
and I went with you.  We met some people you knew.
Oh the money-spinning sights and sounds, the fun of the fair,
to me seemed artificial.  So I looked for you - but you weren't there.
You were gone - at the carnival - having fun with your friends.
(Come to the carnival.)
I found you and said "let's leave".  You frowned and asked why
then shrugged and turned away when I could not reply.

I felt so alone.    The crowd had now grown.
They spent all their cash on mass-produced trash.
I felt in a dream.  I wanted to scream
- a feeling so strong that I wasn't wrong.
Oh it may have been self-pity, feeling cast aside by you
but lost amongst the side-show snares I found myself just wanting to escape it all
at the carnival.
Are you enjoying yourselves?  Of course you are!
(Come to the carnival.)
I fought through the crowd - against the lemmings' tide
then sat and tried to think when I reached the outside.
Day turned to night.  The party went on.
In artificial light the carnival shone.
The smiles had faded and the laughter had died.
You know, flogging a dead carnival just seems so false.

 

79
Up down up down you really make me feel so sick.
I can count to 79.   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 79.

 

Another Antique 
Sun or rain or sometimes snow - the only difference between the days.
Where did all my future go?  - faded in my memory's haze.
The man in the mirror is wrinkled, old and grey.
Life is now mere existence for this son of yesterday.  (Old man)
Me and my brother were born in the twenties.  Dad was laid off when I was four.
I never got a job when I left school.  We had to fight the war.

Now all you see of me's an old man - another antique, packed with memories.
Your parents can't recall things that I can.
My life's passed by and I'm just waiting to die.

Much of the war we spent lying down in a river bed of mud,
nameless numbers near a nameless town, our filthy faces sweating blood.
I lay and watched in fear as my friends died one by one.
Just could not take it any more so I threw away my gun - and I ran.
Some days I managed to scrounge food and others I got none.
Hiding in barns and haystacks for three months till I learned that we'd won.

Now all you see of me's an old man - another antique, packed with memories.
Your parents can't recall things that I can.
My life's passed by and I'm just waiting to die.

The war killed all of the friends I'd known, and the family I'd left behind.
I had to start afresh alone, but still the war preyed on my mind.
I often felt like giving up but somehow I went on.
Before I'd noticed it, 35 years of routine slog had gone.
Now neighbours keep themselves to themselves, and it's not safe in town.
So I don't go out much any more since the day centre closed down.

Now all you see of me's an old man - another antique, packed with memories.
Your parents can't recall things that I can.
My life's passed by but I still don't feel ready to die.

Sun or rain or sometimes snow - the only difference between the days.

 

Alcohol
Drown your griefs and fears in a pint of beer.
You can swap them all for some different ones.
Inhibitions go and control as well.
You're top of the world and the bottom too.
(Alcohol, alcohol)
One more drink is all my liquid mind can contemplate.
All I know is black or white and all I feel is extreme love or hate.

Yeah it stimulates.  You're a hero like your mates
though it tastes like piss and you're full of it.
You can hold your drink.  You're a man you think.
You know, you could stop if you wanted to.....
(Alcohol, alcohol)
One more drink and I'll be yours, and I'll be anyone's
and nobody's at all.

Strange how one man's drink is his poison too.
Yeah it's sad but true.  It's called alcohol
(Alcohol, alcohol)

 

After the End
Armaments - what a pretence!
Didn't you know attack's the best form of defence?
Nuclear war - all fall to the floor.
No explanataions, normal day, all of a sudden......
It doesn't really matter now who pressed the button.
In a way I wish it had been me.
I would have gone down in history.......
(There's no-one left.)

I never really thought it would happen.
It was so easy to pretend.
It all seemed so unreal.  It seemed so far away.
But at last there is peace on Earth - after the end.

Atomic decay - the smoke drifts away.
The greatest show on Earth destroyed the Earth today.
It was out of my  hands; they're now in separate lands.

The prodigal daughter, Earth, joins her eight lifeless sisters, her life done.
They spin together round their father, whom an extinct race called "the Sun".
Circling aimlessly they drift off into space
each bearing scars made by some parasitic, suicidal race.
(There's no-one left.)

I never really thought it would happen.
It was so easy to pretend.
It all seemed so unreal.  It seemed so far away.
But at last there is peace on Earth - after the end.

 

 

Photographs by Paul Atherton (mostly)