Buzzcuts

Lyrics:

Well he gets onto the bus
And he stares at all of us
But I think I saw him crack a smile just slightly.
So we all stare at our feet
While he looks round for a seat
Then my heart sinks as he plonks himself beside me…
And from the smell I can guess
What he’s had for his breakfast –
Two strong cigarettes
And one can of Relentless.
So…

Don’t talk to the driver while the vehicle is in motion
And don’t talk to the passengers ‘cos you really don’t wanna know them.

So I’ve got my earphones in
To block out the usual din
But I glance at him and see he’s started talking
Then I realise gradually
That he’s trying to chat to me
And I wish that I had just considered walking.
Well it’s no surprise to me,
Given his appearance,
That his sparkling repartee
Is just rambling incoherence.
So…

Don’t talk to the driver while the vehicle is in motion
And don’t talk to the passengers ‘cos you really don’t wanna know them.

Just because we both got on
That doesn’t mean that we’ll get on,
And just because we’ll both get off
That doesn’t mean…

Good grief.

There’s a young girl sat alone
Playing music through her phone;
There’s a small dog and a baby that’s just screaming.
Well I kind of empathise
‘Cos it’s then I realise
That I’ve gotta do it all again this evening.
Well they say it takes all sorts,
And who am I to disagree?
But do they really have to board
The same damn bus as me?
No…

Don’t talk to the driver while the vehicle is in motion
And don’t talk to the passengers ‘cos you really don’t wanna know them.

About:

Ah, Buzzcuts. I still think of this as ‘one of our new ones’ even though it’s really not that new. In a way, that’s a good sign because it means I haven’t got bored of it. Yet. We often open our live set with this one – I think it’s a pretty good representation of what we do. It’s got the silly lyrics, it’s got a catchy chorus and it’s got that jaunty, toe-tapping beat. So it made sense to open the album with it.

I’ve written before about how some songs need a bit of effort before they fall into place, and others ‘just work’. This is very much in the latter category. I turned up to band practice one evening with it – we played it through a few times, then debuted it at a gig the following day. Actually, now I think about it, we played it at TWO gigs the following day. Because that’s the sort of wild rock’n’roll mavericks we are.

Within a couple of weeks we played it live at Mr. Kyps. We’d been provided with a whole load of free beer backstage and…well…it took its toll. I managed to forget the second chord* and had to restart the song about 45 times in order to get it right. In my defence… we were given free beer. And we drank it.

In terms of this recording – it’s one of my favourites off the album. Largely because of the handclaps in the chorus. They were Phil Cooper’s idea. And I think they’re genius. It’s those little things that make a difference in my (uninformed but passionate) opinion. That and Dave’s laugh in the second verse. I can’t remember what that was about, but it was a genuine cackle. I know that much.

The slide guitar played in the middle-8 is an old Epiphone Les Paul of mine. The action** was really low, so whenever I tried to play the slide part the slide would thwack against the fret markers. So to raise the action and get a nice slidey sound I did what anyone would do and jammed a child’s paintbrush under the strings. See Exhibit A if you don’t believe me.

20170121_095636.jpg

Finally – you might be wondering why it’s called ‘Buzzcuts’ when that doesn’t really have anything to do with the lyrical content. The truth is that it’s not really called that – but I can’t possibly reveal the real title of the song. Sorry.

* It’s a simple A7, but back then I was trying to be clever and playing an E7-shape up at the 7th fret or so. Like you care. I just play a standard A7 now, to prevent any further beer-related mishaps.

**That’s a technical term meaning the height of the strings above the fretboard.

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