Puncture Repair Kit

Lyrics:

What can he offer you?
Oh tell me, what has he got?
Is it the house and the swimming pool?
And the cars and the yacht?
Well I could take you sailing
Out on the sea.
It would be amazing,
Just you and me.
I don’t have a yacht but I’ve got a dinghy
And a puncture repair kit.

If you’d come back to me,
I will try my best.
I can’t guarantee,
But I’ll try my best.

I bet that he takes you
To posh restaurants,
And you know that I’d do that, too,
Given half the chance.
We could have a pizza,
It’d be nice.
We could share a margherita,
‘Cos of the price.
It’s my favourite restaurant
I’ve been there twice.
The food’s above average.

If you’d come back to me,
I will try my best.
I can’t guarantee,
But I’ll try my best.

Well he’s tall and he’s handsome
And he’s suntanned
And he’s slim
And he goes four nights a week
To some place people call a ‘gym’.
He does all sorts
Of crazy sports
That I could never do.
Yeah I might be fat and lazy
But at least I’d spend my time with you.
With you…
With you…
With you…

People say he’s got brains
Just cos he’s got a degree.
Yeah, well, I could’ve had one, too,
If I’d stayed on at uni.
His qualification doesn’t mean jack,
I reckon I could be as clever as that.
Me? I’ve read the Usborne Book of Bird Facts
And a family atlas.

If you’d come back to me,
I will try my best.
I can’t guarantee,
But I’ll try my best.
If you’d come back to me,
I will try my best.
I can’t guarantee,
But I’ll try my best.

Notes:

Despite being pretty new to our live set, Puncture Repair Kit has a pretty long history. It was (mostly) written about six years ago, but I never quite managed to get the ‘vibe’ right. From trawling through old recordings, it seemed to start life as a slightly frantic folky-pop song. But it didn’t sound right. So I recorded a ‘comedy’ a-capella version (which I’m actually still a little bit proud of in a ridiculous way). Then something odd happened. In a totally unrelated project, I was trying to create a boy-band parody. Something that sounded like One Direction. I thought it’d be fun to steal the Grease-like introduction of…one of their songs (I can’t remember any of their names – possibly ‘The Best Song Ever’?). It was fun. All bass and finger-clicks. From somewhere in the depths of my mind I remembered Puncture Repair Kit. Could that work in that naff-pseudo ‘Grease’ style? There was only one way to find out…

I recorded this: https://audioboom.com/posts/1500363-puncture-repair-kit-new-version

The intro had that ‘Grease’ thing I was after – I liked it because it was so absurd. The verses had a nice offbeat, almost reggae ‘thing’ going on and generally it sounded quite funny. But with guitars and keyboards and reggae chops, it was hardly a Plastic Jeezus song, was it? So it went on the back-burner for a while.

At some point later – maybe even a year or two later – I decided to Plastic Jeezus-ise it. That generally involved giving it a boom-cha drumbeat, slightly mad ukulele strumming and a bomp-bomp bassline. I recorded a version like that and took it to the band. We tried it at band practice a few times and it sounded…alright. Still needed some work. Maybe it’d be funny for us to try playing the ‘Grease’/reggae version…?

Boom. Nailed it. That’s the one.

Well THAT was unexpected.

A couple of weeks later I wrote the middle 8 (the spoken bit about being fat and lazy) at something like 5:30 in the morning. Jotted it down, then totally forgot about it. No recollection of writing it whatsoever, until later that day when I re-read it and thought “You know what? That totally works!”. It was like a gift from my mostly still-asleep subconscious.

We added the utterly absurd handclap section – which always makes me chuckle – and it was done. If you’re wondering why it makes me chuckle it’s just the ridiculousness of a ukulele-fronted band having a stadium-rock style clap along section. “Come on everyone! Let’s see those hands in the air!”. Especially when we’re playing to an audience of three in the back-room of a dingy pub somewhere.

Lyrically, it’s pretty self-explanatory and is probably as close to a sincere look at my fragile emotional state as anything I’ve ever written. It’s essentially just a glimpse into my paranoia that my wife might leave me for someone better. And me desperately trying to prove that I’m as good as her new bloke. Whoever he is. For further listening on a similar subject, I’d recommend the excellent song by Jim Bob (ex-Carter USM) called ‘Every Day When I Come Home I Expect to Find You Gone’. I can’t remember if I’d heard his before writing mine or not and subconsciously nicked it, but I don’t think so. Maybe we’re just both massively insecure. I don’t know him too well.

One live performance of Puncture Repair Kit sticks in my mind. It was at The Four Horsemen in Bournemouth. We hadn’t had this song in the set for very long, and I’d decided to introduce it as “our ‘Grease’ song”. A lady in the audience started heckling when she realised that it was actually a song from the musical. She wasn’t happy at all. SHE WANTED TO HEAR SOMETHING FROM ‘GREASE’, DAMMIT!

Ah well, maybe we’ll learn ‘Beauty School Dropout’ for the next time we play there…

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