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CD album Negotiations and Lovesongs 1995
 
CD cover of Negotiations and Lovesongs by Hugh Featherstone with painting by Edward Povey  
Click on a track title to see lyrics & notes further down the page.

Simple song

Too many everything

Box of letters

My favourite planet

The hiring man

I get hurt

Here with you

Why I shiver

9   Free at last

10  Victim's day

11  Believe in you

12  Peachy side of the moon

13  Last one out

14  In my room

15  Kingdom of the blind
All titles written and composed by Hugh Featherstone
 
 
All text in this rather fetching blue-green by Hugh Featherstone.

About the title

It seems that experience is something only other people learn from, so integrity and fidelity often appear to lie in different directions. The Paul Simon song Train in the Distance highlights the purely subjective way we view our relationships and the implications this has for our understanding of the world. Amidst all the euphoria surrounding the famous handshake on the White House lawn, Simon's phrase "negotiations and lovesongs are often mistaken for one and the same" crept into my head and has since proved difficult to dislodge.

About the inlay

The cover is from "The Church Gate" by the English painter Ed Povey, photographed by Don Draper and reproduced by kind permission of the artist.

The pensive faces of bride and groom, turned briefly away from both one another and the world before driving off, mirror the gravity imposed on a fragile environment by the promises we make. Sleeve design and layout is by Manfred Riese and myself, photos by Studio Bohn. The "Head of a Young Girl", in oak, is reproduced by kind permission of the Belgian sculptor Adolf Daenen.

About the production

Although some tracks were recorded direct onto hard disc, most were recorded analogue onto two sync-locked 16 track Fostex machines. Neumann valve microphones were used whenever feasible on account of their warmth and awesome dynamic range.

Recording, editing and mastering took place at OK Studios, Creative Centre, Düsseldorf on an ACE computerized desk. Monitoring was via the very amazing Stax Ear Speaker System. The engineers were Manfred Riese and Gerrit Nowatzki. Production by Manfred and myself. The producers would like to thank John C. Marshall for his valuable advice and assistance throughout.


All titles written and arranged by Hugh Featherstone
published by Shuttle Music P & C 1995.

For details of who played what on which track,
see lyrics and notes further down the page.

About the instruments

Thanks to Arndt Büssing for the loan of his beautiful 6-string Yairi.

Apart from this, I used Washburn 12-string acoustics, customized by Gary Levinson,
a standard Fender Stratocaster, a Washburn 36, a Godin slimline acoustic and an
Ibinez Recital.

My violin is a 1927 Hume.

Yannick Le Roux plays Tama and Sonor drums with Ufip and Pearl brassware.

Berndt Schümmer would like to praise Walter Kraushaar
for his lovely 5-string fretless basses.

Eddie McLean plays Fenix.

Gerrit Nowatzki played a Fernandez bass.

Rheidun Schlesinger built her own harp and
wouldn't take my money, much appreciated!

Special thanks to my wife for her patience and enthusiasm,
also to Gerrit and Grit for services above and beyond the call of duty.

 

You can order this CD

at blutopia.networks

www.blutopia.net
 
CD cover painting, The Church Gate by Edward Povey

CD cover painting
"The Church Gate" by Edward Povey
 
photo of Hugh Featherstone from the CD booklet of Negotiations and Lovesongs

Hugh contemplates a drink of water
while he waits for the masters to arrive.

CD booklet photo by Studio Bohn
 

My Favourite Planet - the online travel guide

www.my-favourite-planet.com


The song My Favourite Planet

provided the inspiration for the name of

the travel guide website My Favourite Planet.
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs lyrics and notes

All Hugh's CD album sleeves contain lyrics, so the best way to enjoy them
is to read as you listen. But for those of you who can't wait, here they are.

All text in this rather fetching blue-green by Hugh Featherstone.
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Simple song track 1

1994

Gerrit Nowatzki: Bass, Hugh Featherstone: guitars and vocals, hand drum

Personal politics on public walls, songwriting is basically graffiti.

Hey there, were you talking to me?
now please don't give me the third degree
I know by now that something's wrong
and I just can't fix it with a simple song

singing: doo-doo-doodoo-doo
and ta-taa-tata-taa

Well, I grew up in the nineteen-sixties
long hair and radical fixtures
now here I am in a different order
with my sonic son and my digital daughters

We learned a lot about liberty
and the price of a love we used to think was free
if the world you dream of's not the one you're in
try a step outside, you'll find the air is thin there

doo-doo-doodoo-doo
ta-taa-tata-taa

A,E,I,O,U,
all the letters that we sang were true
it was just the words that made no sense
you could interpret at your own expense

So I went looking through this heart of mine
among the warehouses and the vacant signs
'til I found heaven in a parking lot
it was all I wanted, it was all I got

doo-doo-doodoo-doo
ta-taa-tata-taa

Now, you and me, we come from different games
so it's quite unlikely we should think the same
but if I fall, will you fix my head
or will I wake up tied to the tracks instead?

So please tell me what I ought to do
because I think you know it's my party too
and I've seen lately how things go wrong
between negotiations and lovesongs

doo-doo-doodoo-doo
ta-taa-tata-taa

Is this where we really belong
between negotiations and lovesongs?
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Too many everything track 2

1993

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass, Hugh Featherstone: guitars and vocals

The others say this resembles Dylan's Everything is broken, but isn't that the sincerest form of flattery?

Too many perfumes, too many clothes
too many stations on your radio
too many sisters in your sister act
too many nations in your Warsaw Pact
too many birds in too many trees
uh huh, you're too many for me

too many horses broken on the trail
too many letters lost in the mail
too many phones ringing off the hook
too many prowlers come to take a look
too many clauses with no guarantee
uh huh, you're too many for me

I have a problem with numbers
when they don't add up
don't have to be a mathematician
here's where the numbers stop

Too many soldiers missing in your wars
too many crawling home on all fours
too many hit by friendly fire
too many terminators up for hire
too many take me for a refugee
uh huh, you're too many for me

Too many questions on your answerphone
too many lights on when you're home alone
too many people know your postal code
too many cops are cruising up your road
too many Ginos bringing pizza for free
uh huh, you're too many for me
too many anything, I think you'll agree
uh huh, you're too many for me
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Box of letters track 3

1994

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass, Hugh Featherstone: guitars and vocals

The price of trying to tidy out my office.

[ Hugh whistles at the end of this song. Just a bit of gentle piping, nothing fancy (sounds a bit like "ship ahoy").
This was a shock when I first heard, I had never heard him do THAT before. Since then, he's slipped a bit
of sifflage (is that the word?) on a few other songs, including "in my room" (see below).
I like it, seems to fit somehow. - David John ]

A box of letters and I read them every one
disclosed the person I may nearly have become
a selfish, heartless reptile on the run
the mirror cracked to leave me wincing at the sun
and you know, you know, you know, you know, you know,
you know, you know you were the one

I breathe the scent of long forgotten days
a style of life we led in psychotropic haze
in vino veritas and God's mysterious ways
led us to analyse and critically appraise
but you know, you know, you know, you know, you know,
you know, you know we'd lost it anyway

A window opening on opportunity
an easy exit that assured prosperity
you took the high road but you kindly left a key
I couldn't say just what it guaranteed
but you know, you know, you know, you know, you know,
you know, you know it meant a lot to me

I take each letter up and weigh it in my hand
the heavy treaties of some dark imperial land
the seal of office and the diplomatic band
each accusation stung like it was planned
but you know, you know, you know, you know, you know,
you know, you know your wish was my command
     
Negotiations and Lovesongs My favourite planet track 4

1994

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass,
Hugh Featherstone: guitars and vocals,
Kim, Debbie, Marie-Anne, Michelle, Sara, Anne-Katrin, Céline: Favourite Girl's Choir

Despite all the drawbacks: meagre size, funny money, mosquitoes,
antique toasters, limited off-world opportunities and primitive showers,
this still remains one of my favourite planets.


This is my favourite planet
because it's the one with you on it
I know why this is my favourite world
it's home to my favourite girl

I don't need the stars tonight
and I don't need the moon
they're shining deep within your eyes
you lighten up this twilit room

This is my favourite planet
because it's the one with you on it
I know why this is my favourite world
it's home to my favourite girl

I don't need my radio
the music's where you are
yeah, you're my personal stereo
don't even need this lead guitar

Well I don't have that much to say
you're all the words there are
but I'll keep singing anyway
you made this world a star

So I don't need no movie show
you're everything I see
no, I don't need this video
don't even want my MTV!

This is my favourite planet
because it's the one with you on it
this is my, this is my, this is my favourite planet
this is my favourite world
 
This song provided the inspiration for
the name of the travel guide website
My Favourite Planet

My Favourite Planet, the online world travel guide

www.my-favourite-planet.com
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs The hiring man track 5

1994

Hugh Featherstone: guitars, vocals, violin, mandolero and hand drum

Inspired by the little slate worker's town of Bethesda, North Wales, in 1973.

I come from the valleys, I come from the plains
for lack of good labour or pay for my pains
I come from the cities, I come from the fields
my hand it is steady, my eye never yields

Well, I was laid off and I well understand
that it's hard times for many all over this land
but if people we vote for can't get us a job
then it won't be too long till we're ruled by the mob

But no, no matter wherever I am
I'll never belong to the hiring man

Some say we're old fashioned, we've waited too long
some say that the unions have played their cards wrong
some say we're complacent and we can't compete
this all may be true, but we still have to eat
They pay me a benefit and, sure, it's enough
enough to stay hungry, enough to live rough
enough for a smoke and a jar with a friend
and if I never buy clothes, it's enough for the rent

But no, no matter wherever I am
I'll never belong to the hiring man

They say that there's work in the new industries
but it pays next to nothing and they take you on lease
or must I flip burgers, or must I wash plates
with these hands that have helped make a small nation great

I don't know politics, but I know what I like
and if you don't deliver, you can get on your bike
but leave me your suits and your black limousine
it might help me find work if my image is clean

But no, no matter wherever I am
I'll never belong to the hiring man
I'll never belong to the hiring man
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs I get hurt track 6

1974

Hugh Featherstone: guitars and vocals, Yannick Le Roux: drums

One of a set of three Blue-Jazz tunes I wrote under the influence of Hoagy Charmichael
and the urban blues style of Jimmy Witherspoon. This was intended as a rehearsal tape,
but we liked the feeling so much that Yannick just laid on a drum track.


I get hurt
when I see you walking by
see you've found yourself a man
got your head up proud and high

We both came down to this lonesome town
and I can't remember why
real fine country girl
and her down-home country guy

Got to beat this old dirty street
you know the smoke gets in my eyes
had some good times here
there'll be better ones bye and bye
and I'm getting hurt too bad
when I see you walking by
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Here with you track 7

1994

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Eddie McLean: bass, Hugh Featherstone: guitars and vocals

(note: "accus" is German for rechargeable batteries)

The fact that this century is falling apart is only thrilling if you believe in a better world,
and even then it's pretty scary.


Rivers of tears fill the streets
love-lorn maidens wringing out their sheets
radio's jammed with stale repeats
I go off and hide
it's time to load my "accus" up
time you filled my coffee cup
I swim to you when I've had enough
like a running tide

There's a stack of lights against the night
their aims are laudable and right
and I know I should stand up to be counted
but when sabres rattle in the hall
and burning cars light up the mall
I guess I'd rather be where I am wanted
Here with you

At uncle Sam's there's no one home
since Billy took up the saxophone
so Kevin's grown up all alone
in a video game
and Michael left for Disneyland
but Goofy wouldn't shake his hand
and all the tunes he loved are banned
it's a crying shame

It seems the diamond dream ran dry
there's no more plums in the American Pie
and the corridors of power are merely haunted
tho' some'll say we chickened out
we should've stayed to twist and shout
I think I'd rather be where I am wanted
Here with you

I shuffle through a brain-dead February
the roads are blocked with designer debris
where's the promised turn-around they vaunted
the unplugged took the music rack
but I could use another jack-attack
so I've come back to play where I am wanted
Here with you

I come in on the Friday plane
out of blue skies into rain
and hit the train before I know I've landed
you meet me at the station there
your radiant smile, your windblown hair
and take me home to where I know I'm wanted
Here with you
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Why I shiver track 8

1993

Rheidun Schlesinger: harp

The uncomfortable memory of a tense fortnight spent at the Water Gardens Hotel,
London, in 1969 gave rise to this. I finally wrote it in far less luxurious, but more
congenial circumstances at the Serdica, Sofia.


The air is cool here
but my clothes are warm
it's three in the morning
and the night is calm
I gaze out on the city
tired taxis in the streets
I know that no one rides for free
but I have nothing left to give her
that's why I shiver

Well I believe in all these changes
I believe they're fot the best
but they stole away my heart
and now they've come back for the rest
you never wanted money
you never wanterd power
you're only here for love
but that's the hardest to deliver
and that's why I shiver
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Free at last track 9

1992

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Eddie McLean: bass

Originally written to test the idea of a stepped chorus,
this accidentally picked up a message on the way.


When you're free at last
like a leaf from a tree
and you're falling fast
will you think of me
when you're free at last
like a bottle at sea
will you think of me

You say you want to live your life
you say you have somewhere to go
you'd rather see a house divide
than see it going slow
you can't take no more
you turn to the door

When you're free at last
like a leaf from a tree
and you're falling fast
will you think of me
when you're free at last
like a bottle at sea
will you think of me

The pressure's on us all today
a world is waiting in the wings
but every sparrow that falls today
is one less song the morning brings
don't think you're alone
we're all far from home

When you're free at last
like a bottle at sea
and a ship goes past
will you think of me
when you're free at last
like a leaf from a tree
and you're falling fast
will you think of me
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Victim's day track 10

1994

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass

Although the years of "litigate till you drop" nominally inspired this,
it was really an excuse to write a song with a triggered chorus.


I got your call, you sounded overwrought.
Before the fall, I was always willing to be caught.
But not again, I know you never cared.
I was a shoulder that you always could rely on to be there... you go, walking out on happiness again.
Don't you know? No one's going to stay to see the end.
He was your only friend.

You've got a nerve, to say you suffered here.
A softer life is hard for me to visualize, my dear,
but all the same, this is the victim's day,
these are the years when objectivity gets blown away... you go, walking out on happiness again.
Don't you know? No one's going to stay to see the end.
He was your only friend.

I know how to be nice to you, my darling.
I used to pay any price to see you smiling.
Yes, I know how to be nice to you, my darling.
But I don't have to be nice. I don't need to be nice.
I don't want to be twice the fool.

I got your call, you sounded overwrought.
Before the fall, I was always willing to be caught.
We talked a bit, till I heard someone cough.
You haven't changed. It's time I took my rosy glasses off... you go, walking out on happiness again.
Don't you know? No one's going to stay to see the end.
He was your only friend.
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Believe in you track 11

1993

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass

For Albena and Stefan, Mikhela, Nicolai, Maria, Anton, Marina, Christina,
Krasimir, Ellen, Bojidar, Vicki, Ilya and Radjina, Jim and Dylan, Kris,
Mikhail, Swetan, Denislav, Toni and Rumen, Kamen, Elitsa and Julia


Looking at the modern world it's easy to get scared
people cheating kith and kin, there's bloodshed everywhere
race and class and faith are nothing more than points of view
but you believed in me, so I'll believe in you

People on the borderline of poverty and pain
live through generations, never see that gravy train
so when they catch it, why expect them to behave so differently
I believe in you so please believe in me

The rich are getting richer here, the rest are sinking down
the Joneses cry for justice just as much as neighbour Brown
all this smash and grab will never change a thing they do
but you believed in me, so I'll believe in you

Workers of the world united and built themselves a home
now it's fallen down, those workers have nowhere to go
someday they may see beyond their shattered history
I believed in you so please believe in me

The future is for everyone if only they'd agree
to cut the cord that binds them to the past and set them free
but when the times are hard, the lines get drawn, you'll find it's true
but you believed in me, so I'll believe in you

I stood at the waterside and watched the the river flow
I don't know where we're coming from, I don't know where we go
somewhere there was rain, I guess, and somewhere there's a see
I'll believe in you if you believe in me
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Peachy side of the moon track 12

1994

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass, Debbie Pfeiffer: Charmonies

A tip of the hat to Chrissie, Manol and the Gabrovo Swing-Dixie Band for the original tape.
I decided to rhyme moon and June, just to see if my friends would still talk to me.


From the way you move, I can see it so well
you've got a kind of groove, anybody can tell
you're in love, you're in love, the world fits like a glove
you've got heaven in reach, you'll practise what you preach this time
this time

Well you lost your heart to a solitary tune
you lost your head in lazy swoon
you lost your sense of business
you're going to lose the rest real soon
you're on the peachy, the peachy side of the moon

You had a heart attack in the back of a taxi cab
around the loop and back, you can't remember who paid the tab
you're in love, you're in love, you hear angels above
you've got the radio on and they're playing your song this time
this time

Well you lost your heart on a rainy day in June
Well you lost your head on a hazy afternoon
Well you lost your sense of balance
you're going to lose the rest real soon
you're on the peachy, the peachy side of the moon

You're changing your attitude, falling for platitudes now
you've got a new kind of latitude, rediscovered gratitude
life has meaning somehow

You fall for diamond rings and things that never meant that much
you go for schmalzy strings, you, who used to be so in touch
you're in love, you're in love, you just can't get enough
it's no passing folly, you're clean off your trolly this time
this time

Once you lost your heart to some Rambo lampoon
once you lost your head to some Calfornia croon
but now you've lost them both together
you're going to lose the rest real soon
you're on the peachy, the peachy side of the moon
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Last one out track 13

1993

For the men who worked the coalfields of northern England
between the 1st World War and the Gulf War.


Just a small town history with small town heroes too
they were born to darkness but they dreamed of green and blue
and in the chapel on a Sunday, they would sing into the night
and the last to leave would turn out all the lights

It was a time of turmoil, a time of mighty deeds
there was a clash of wills and a dividing of the creeds
as they sang their way from Jarrow, leaving the pitheads to the skites
the last one out of there turned out all the lights

It was a time of industry, a time of blood and gold
there was a war in Europe and the whole world needed coal
so they worked around the clock for something that was just and clear and right
while up above their heads, the bombers turned out all the lights

Now coal is bad, they say it's killing all the tres
and a miner's life is lived in fear of lung disease
and what with gas and oil and atom, there's a hundred closed down sites
will the last one out here please turn out the lights

'Cos you can fight the coalface but you cannot fight the pound
with recession biting and the markets on the ground
and all the kids going down to London, where the money's not so tight
would the last one out here please turn out the lights

Yes, the young are going and the old men watch them leave
when the decade's over, there'll be none left to grieve
after all those years of hardship and struggle for your rights
would the last one out here please turn out the lights
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs In my room track 14

1993

Having long given up trying to say something new in a love song, I like this one for its lyric simplicity.

[ Another bit of whistling at the end of song. Hugh must have been in a good mood when he made this album.
There aren't many instances of Hugh altering his lyrics; I can only think of two other songs where he has
changed entire lines. Here, the version in the CD booklet varies from what you hear on the disc.
It's a bit like that game of "spot the difference", where you have to find the slight variations between
two almost identical pictures - David John ]

CD booklet version:

Dark night
window aflame in the gloom
pan right
pull in the frame with your zoom

One light in the pouring rain
two shapes at the window pane
they kiss
darkness again in my room

Don't say
everything happens too soon
things change
people drift off to the moon

It's true this cannot last
I'll rhyme that with the past
don't cry
time doesn't fly in my room

We'll keep the world at bay
we'll dream of better days
just say
you're here to stay in my room
What Hugh sings on the CD:

Dark night
window alight in the gloom
pan right
pull in the frame with your zoom

One light in the pouring rain
two shapes at the window pane
they touch
darkness again in my room

Don't say
everything happens too soon
things change
people phase out like the moon

It's true this cannot last
I'll rhyme that with the past
don't cry
time doesn't fly in my room

We'll keep the world at bay
we'll dream of better days
just say
you're here to stay in my room
 
Negotiations and Lovesongs Kingdom of the blind track 15

1994

Yannick Le Roux: drums, Berndt Schümmer: bass

This is a kind of sequel to Trees of knowledge on my third album Announcer.

Now the cannon have gone silent for a while
now it's safe above the ground
I'd like to tell you all a story
come in close, children, gather round

When I came here all those years ago
your little planet looked so blue
now the rivers all run red with blood
the reason's clear to every view

I would not be this stranger among you
these tears would not be on my brow
if I'd known then what I know now

It should have been so easy here
a little truth, a little light
but the flame I held, it burned my fingers to the quick
and truth got swallowed in the stumbling night

I would not be this one-eyed ruler
would not have risked my solemn vow
if I'd known then what I know now

I dreamt that force could be the servant of justice
and truth the servant of the state
I failed to vector in the human factor
the word is frightening when it comes too late

I tried to build a world we'd all be proud of
a place of dignity and life
but those around me had a hidden agenda
those behind me had a hidden knife

How could there be so much hatred here
so many races out of none
so many ready to kill for an opinion
so many dying just for having one?

I would not be your holy jester
I would not be your holy cow
I'd be far off now with my ship and my mariners
a brief goodbye, a hurried bow
I would not bother turning stones into bread
or laying battlefields under the plough
I would not be your one-eyed ruler
would not have risked my solemn vow
I would not be this stranger among you
these lines would not be on my brow
if I'd known then what I know now
 
Hugh Featherstone plays Kraushaar Guitars
 
www.featherstone.de website design Ursa Major