Faith, Folk & Anarchy (Reissue)

by Martyn Joseph, Tom Robinson & Steve Knightley

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    First digital download release of the original Faith, Folk & Anarchy album by Joseph, Robinson & Knightley

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about

Faith, Folk & Anarchy was temporary band project formed jointly by Martyn Joseph, Tom Robinson and Steve Knightley. The three songwriters first sang together in an impromptu and unrehearsed performance on the main stage at GREENBELT FESTIVAL in 2000.

"Faith Folk and Anarchy" more or less sums up what happened on stage that night - and inspired them to work further together on an album and tour under this name. The album was recorded by MICK DOLAN in Exeter during December 2001

MARTYN JOSEPH - by Steve Knightley
In 1998 the SHOW OF HANDS tour manager, Will Thomas, included Martyn's "Cardiff Bay" as part of our before and after show compilation music. I remember being struck at the time by the strong sense of community and family that the song conveyed. Here was a writer who knew where he was from and what he believed in and who wasn't afraid of being considered parochial or sentimental. We all spent that entire autumn tour listening to that distinctive nasal, tender-tough voice resonating around various concert halls as they emptied and filled and I was eager to meet the man himself. A year later Tom and Martyn were headlining Greenbelt 99 in Cheltenham. I went along to listen and found first myself jamming backstage and then joining them onstage for a handful of impromptu songs. Martyn was as open , approachable and direct as his music had suggested. Indeed in performance he achieves that rare unity where the song, the sound and the person all merge to make one complete statement. And like Mr R, Martyn has that easy access to Rock and Roll dynamics in his playing and singing that allows an effortless gear change from the gentlest ballad to the most raucous holler. After the show we all talked generally about the possibility of a collaborative project in the future. Such conversations almost inevitably come to nought and I'm just delighted that with the help of Chris Jaeger at Speaking Volumes all of our loose talk has born such musical fruit. www.martynjoseph.co.uk

TOM ROBINSON by Martyn Joseph
I first met Tom Robinson on the set of a TV programme in Belfast called 'The Kelly Show' in 1992. I was somewhat in awe as this was a guy I had listened to as a teenager, even then aware that bland mainstream music was never going to cut it for me. The Tom Robinson Band represented energy and passion, and though I wasn't quite sure what it was, they had something to say. All those years on Tom still had it all, but also a gentleness and kindness that soon made me feel at ease and, indeed, welcome. We have remained firm friends ever since and have managed to collaborate on a number of songs and gigs. The most endearing thing for me about Tom is that he is still running with as much passion and insight as he did when I first heard him. He has 'kept the faith' and is very much qualified to hold up the mantle of 'anarchy' provider for this project. As well as a singer of songs, his voice has been found recently on many a radio programme as a presenter. In a business that is so often devoid of clarity, common sense, justice and meaning, he marches on and will stir it up for anyone who will listen. Let's hope we do, and also that he never grows tired of the world's indifference to it all. www.tomrobinson.com

STEVE KNIGHTLEY by Tom Robinson
The term "singer-songwriter" has become badly devalued in the past 20 years. We've all endured the Neil Young / Suzanne Vega wannabe perched on a stool, picking lifelessly at an acoustic guitar and warbling about man's inhumanity to man. This low-octane byproduct of Anglo-American pop is oblivious to tradition - and indeed to realities of everyday life - part of a cultural dislocation that gives us cowboys from Rochdale and bluesmen from Surbiton. "FAITH FOLK AND ANARCHY" has given me the chance to work with two songwriters of a very different kind: artisan performers with grit, purpose and a true sense of community. Martyn has been my friend and musical collaborator for 10 years, but performing with Steve Knightley has been a fresh and invigorating adventure. When I first heard Steve perform his songs full-tilt with SHOW OF HANDS (his duo with PHIL BEER) I was gobsmacked. Here were gripping human stories set in a dark contemporary landscape - expertly sketched by the broad brush of a master craftsman. Songs written for impact - for simple survival in the bearpit atmosphere of the band's early pub gigs. And some songs in the Steve Knightley songbook are so utterly timeless, they're widely performed as "traditional" in folk clubs around the country these days. To me, Steve's writing represents a unique body of work deeply rooted in a sense of time and place. This opportunity to work with both him and Martyn - and to perform their extraordinary and passionate material - was simply too good to miss. www.showofhands.co.uk

credits

released June 16, 2017

Martyn Joseph - acoustic guitar, vocals
Steve Knightley - acoustic guitar, cello mandolin, cuatro, vocals
Tom Robinson - acoustic guitar, bass, vocals
Recorded and mixed by Micka Dolan
Produced by Steve Knightley

All recordings ©2002 by Martyn Joseph, Tom Robinson and Steve Knightley

Cover design - Tom Robinson and Jo Haslam
Photgraphy - Gary Bossier and Joan Barret

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about

Tom Robinson London, UK

Tom Robinson (b.1950) is a UK songwriter & broadcaster first known in the 70s as an anti-racist and LGBT campaigner. He released 19 albums between 1975-2001 with various bands and has co-written songs with Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. He's an award-winning presenter at BBC Radio 6 Music, and released Only The Now (his first album in 19 years) in October 2015. ... more

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Track Name: The Thin Green Line
We're faced with mile-high piles of money sitting in banks
Gold bars, credit cards, aeroplanes and tanks
Buy, buy, satisfy, call me when you're rich
Cheap food, cows dying in a ditch

We're having a hard time
Holding the Thin Green Line

We're faced with out of town shopping malls,
suburban housing boom
Inner city empty lots, damp in all the rooms
Bulls and bears, speculators, euros, yen
And the baby's crying again

So come on down to the bottle bank
Make your deposit and relax
Nothing's going on behind your backs
We'll make all the big decisions
You just watch the television

Smash the brown! Smash the green! Smash the clear!
It won't happen here

We watch the last of the species vanish from the screens
And get replaced by killer dogs and their men on the scene

There are peeping toms, pop songs, crime & sin & sex
All spewing out on newsprint while the forest dies a death
They're cooling down reactors while the natives die of thirst
They say let's all pull together - you first

They say let's
All pull together (you first !!!)
Let's all pull together (you first !!!)
Let's all pull together (you first !!!)
But they never pull together no wonder

We're having a hard time
Holding the Thin Green Line
Track Name: Wake Me Up
I’ve seen a lot and a lot I’ve seen
Hope I never stop dreaming if you know what I mean
Sometimes it all ends in disarray
Sometimes I feel myself slipping away

Chorus
My soul’s asleep now, wake me up
My body’s fading, wake me up
My soul’s asleep, come on and wake me up

Baby it’s subtle and it does it well
I just walk on through underneath that spell
Flashing lights and jamboree
Baby the world drains the life out of me

Repeat Chorus

On these streets I’m blind
Though the road is signed
I gotta look behind to find my way

This could be the matinee
The remains of the day
I try to stay awake but I’m slipping away

Repeat Chorus

I’ve seen a lot and a lot I’ve seen
Sometimes I fall through the gaps in between
And then world it begins to sway
Pretty soon I can feel myself slipping away
Wake me up
Track Name: Killing Fields
I fell in love with the bleak fields and sombre streets of Ieper
A place of rain and wide horizons
Its renaissance greatness resurrected
In the winter mists of fen and flatland.
The shadow of tragedy heavy on the landscape...
Mass graves, grassy craters - drizzle, silence and bad drains
Beer, chocolate and death.

I fell in love with impossibly foxy men and women;
Boys and girls called Bart and Ilse,
Wim, Luc, Annalies, Ariane & Lieve...
Faces straight out of Van Eyck paintings
Arguing and laughing over beers in bars.
Not the bland blonds of Holland & the North
But tempered by latin blood, gallic madness
And cursed with a fatal romantic yearning
My heart longed to know them all by name

Killing Fields, in the Killing Fields
Sitting here drinking in the killing fields
Killing Fields, in the Killing Fields
Kissing and drinking in the killing fields

I fell in love with a maddening language
Ancient, subtle and gutteral:
Mouthfuls of vowels, impossible consonants
Dialects different in every village;
Underpinned by an invisible linguistic rift
And the strife of life on an ethnic faultline
A land jackboot-trampled twice in a century;
The appalling scrawl of spraycan racists
Forgetting the terrible lesson of history
And eager only to repeat it.

I fell in love with a capital city north of Napoleon's Waterloo
Multilingual, rich with immigrants
With a passion for fashion, food and politics & music
African jazz, Parisian hip-hop,
Homegrown house and a riotous nightlife,
Grand cafés in filthy buildings
playing Toots Thielamans & Django Reinhardt
Boulevards jammed with trams and taxis
The sad, magnificent, sprawling, seedy metropolis
At the very heart of Old Europe

Sitting and drinking....in the Killing Fields
Smoking and joking....in the Killing Fields
Living & loving....in the Killing Fields
Track Name: The Flood
The southern chalk downland is soaked after weeks of hard rain,
The streams that were dry since the war, they’re flowing again,
But the water’s still rising, it’s only a metre below
The streets of the old county town, it’s got nowhere to go,
And the river runs out of these hills, and the cellar is starting to fill.

The fields and the farmland lie under their blanket of mud,
It’s soaking the roots and the branches; it’s rotting the buds,
Round here everyone’s counting the cost of the flood,
Cost of the flood

Yet under the cruel sun, the desert drifts ever more south,
Like the spars of old ships, the cattle bones bleach in the drought,
When they’re weary of praying for rain, all the young men are heading for Spain

But the shoreline was just beyond reach and now someone lies drowned,
Where the lovers stretch out on the beaches that border the towns,
Round here everyone’s watching the world spinning round
Spinning round

So let’s stand on the white cliffs and look over to France,
Where hundreds are waiting for darkness to take one more chance,
As the trucks in the neon-lit parks become cages instead of an ark

Our credit is worthless, the aid and investments no good,
When they’re paying their debts with their families, our loans back with blood,
Now the dam has been breached; it’s the year of the flood
It’s the year of the flood

It’s the year of the flood
The year of the flood
It’s the year of the flood
And a rain is gonna fall
In the year of the flood
Track Name: Are We Alright
You don’t need to shout
You don’t need to cry
Paint on the front door
Or laugh in the clouds
I had a moment’s fear
That you can put to flight
Just reassure me
That we’re alright

Are we alright?
Are we still strong?
We’ve got one last chance
So don’t get it wrong

Cos I will hold my breath
I will count to ten
When I open my eyes
I will ask again

So don’t make me beg
Don’t make me plead
Leave me with some dignity
I will stay cool and calm tonight
I just need to know if we are still alright
You know it won’t take much
To turn black to white
Just one gentle touch

I’ve been awake for hours
I wanna sleep tonight
Won’t you tell me
That we’re alright?

So don’t make me beg
Don’t make me plead
Leave me with some dignity

Are we all right
Are we still strong
We’ve got one last chance
Don’t get it wrong

I’ve been awake for hours
I wanna sleep tonight
Come on tell me
That we’re alright

Are we alright
Are we alright
Just reassure me that we’re alright
Track Name: Cold Heart Of England
Hard winds are blowing down the High Street today
Just look around you
Family firms selling up and moving away
And the names that surround you
And though they’re familiar you don’t feel at home
When you could be in Kansas, you could be in Rome
All closing down in the small country towns
In the cold heart of England

You don’t see the stars when the light’s overspill
Is too bright and too strong
From hundreds of homes on the side of the hill
Just where did we come from?
Now we’ve been told to build ten thousand more
And cover the countryside we came here for
Trees coming down on the edge of the town
In the cold heart of England

Well it’s Saturday night with the boys in the square
The cars and the fights, broken glass everywhere
I’ve no picture postcard to send you from there
It’s the cold heart of England

So it’s grey supermarkets, instead of green fields
To pay all our wages
‘Til we’re choking in traffic and tied to the wheels
Like cattle in cages
And if you work within limits the law will allow
You’ll find the land’s under concrete instead of the plough
Where are you Swampy? We need you right now
In the cold heart of England
Track Name: Strange Way
Strange way to start a revolution
Strange way to get a better tan
Strange way to hold a power breakfast
Strange way show your business plan
Strange way to test if wood would splinter
Strange way to do performance art
Strange way to say “I’ll see you later”
Strange way to leave behind your heart

Strange dissident of meekness
And nurse of tangled souls
And so unlike the holy
To end up full of holes
Strange way

Strange way to hang around for hours
Strange way to imitate a kite
Strange way to get a view of Auschwitz
Strange way to represent the light
Strange way to watch for stormy weather
Strange way to disprove gravity
Strange way to go around fund-raising
Strange way to sing I am liberty

Strange dissident of meekness
And nurse of tangled souls
And so unlike the holy
To end up full of holes
Strange way

Strange way to test for haemophillia
Strange way to spend a happy hour
Strange way to down a bitter cocktail
Strange way to merchandise your power
Strange way to reassure your mother
Strange way to finish your world tour
Strange way to pose for all those paintings
Strange way to gather in the poor

Strange dissident of meekness
And nurse of tangled souls
And so unlike the holy
To end up full of holes

This world is too much with us
Could we not now just elope?
Strange way to hold us closer
Strange way to give us hope
Strange way
Track Name: You Tattooed Me
Stranded in Antwerp in June ’54
Streets full of refugees and rumours of war
In a queue at the station a stranger arrived
Stopped and he fixed me with wild hazel eyes

The hotel was crowded – I followed in fright
You slammed the door behind us, smashed out the light
You said "why try to fight it?" to my racing heart
We nuzzled like animals
And kissed in the dark

We wrecked the bed, spent the rent
Left there without a cent
Drank the fare, missed the last train
Until 25 I was barely alive
And I wondered what hit me…

When you tattooed me
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
I wondered what hit me when you came

Shacked up that winter behind basement doors
Bugs in the blankets, broken glass on the floor
Cold, broke and hungry, having quarrels and fights
Coughed blood through the winter - but felt so alive

Until on that fatal day you signed your life away
I was too weak for alarm
(I was) Drunk and asleep when you left for the fleet
Oh you tattooed your name on my arm

You tattooed me (tattooed me)
With your name on my arm
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
Your name with a needle on my arm

With the peace in Geneva the world crawled away
From the brink of oblivion – we all breathed again
I heard you deserted, but no letters came
My life was in pieces, but I started again

And when I was on the mend I drifted to Zaventem
Worked there unloading the planes
I paid my way on a thousand a day
And I never did see you again

But you tattooed me (tattooed me)
Never again
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
Oh, you tattooed me (tattooed me)
Your name on my arm
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
And I never did see you again
Track Name: Please Sir
She was always a very pretty lady
He had always caught her eye
They were married in a mining valley
And swore they’d be together until the day that they died

Twenty years later with the coal all gone
And golden lamp in his hand
He stands at the bar with a pint in his hand and his friends
They all agree together that they don’t understand

Meanwhile little David takes his books off to school
And learns of the times gone past
And when it comes to questions he puts up his hand
There’s something that he just wants to ask

Please sir can you give me an answer
Please sir you know it doesn’t seem fair
‘Cos last night as I walked through the door
I thought I saw my father crying sat in his chair

She stood there with her arms around him and she said
She promised him a better day
But after twenty years of working underground
It’s not just your job that they take away

Sometimes he’d walk to the edge of his world
And stare at the valley below
He thought about leaving maybe running away
But knew there was nowhere to go

Please sir can you give me an answer
Please sir you know I just can’t see
Please sir when you make these decisions
Do you have a vision of what happens to me

Life goes on in a mining valley
But the young men leave for a better wage
And every day he coughs and he splutters
He knows love is the reason he stays
He knows love is the reason he stays

Meanwhile little David takes his books off to school
And learns of the times gone past
And when it comes to questions he puts up his and
There’s something that he just wants to ask

Please sir can you give me an answer
Please sir you know it doesn’t seem fair
‘Cos last night as I walked through the door
I thought I saw my daddy crying sat in his chair

Please sir can you give me and answer
Please sir you know I just can’t see
Please sir when you make these decisions
Do you have a vision of what happens to me
Do you know what happens to the likes of me?
Please take a look, take a look now
Take a look and see
Track Name: War Baby
Only the very young and the very beautiful can be so aloof
Hanging out with the boys, all swagger and poise
I don't even care what other people are there
I just stare and stare and stare

I see your shadow in the swimming pool
I see your face in the shaving mirror
Time and time and time again
I follow your footsteps so quietly up the backstairs
And I hope and I pray you're never going to find me there

Smooth skin and tenderness long ago on a dark night
Wish I could see you once again just to remember it was true
I want to be still beside you - quiet and still beside you
Listening to your breathing and feeling your warmth again

War baby - you were a
War baby - this means
War baby - I'm scared, so scared
Of whatever it is you keep putting me through

I don't think I could stand another ten years of this fighting
All this stabbing and wounding - only getting my own back
I don't want to batter you to your feet and knees and elbows
When I'm kneeling like a candle at the foot of my own bed

Corresponding disasters every night on the TV
Sickening reality keeps gripping me in its guts
All my friends talk and joke and laugh about Armageddon
But like a nightmare it's still waiting there at the end of every day

War baby...etc

I don't think I could stand another ten years of this fighting
All this stabbing and wounding - only getting my own back
But later that same evening we were out in the car talking
When I suddenly wondered who the hell it was we were trying to fool

Co you were the first one that I ever wanted
And it's you I come home to at the end of every day
Like a mother-sucking baby, demanding and so helpless
A little old balding man, all wrinkles and bulging eyes

War baby - you were a
War baby - this means
War baby - I'm scared, so scared
Of whatever it is you keep putting me through
Track Name: I WIll Follow
I’ve been looking to the time when I first met you.
When life seemed so sweet, seemed so right.
And I know you never change.
I know you never will.
But the winds of life have blown me all around

I will follow you
I must go on and on
I will follow
Wherever you lead me I will follow on

And the lies that they fed me,
Are the lies that I lived.
And they have their fill,
And they leave me all alone
As I run across this desert
As I run into your arms,
I feel the depth of your love
Like I’ve never known

I will follow you
I must go on and on
I will follow
Wherever you lead me I will follow on

And the passion is in my spirit,
Is the passion in my soul
Keeps me burning, keeps me running on and on

I will follow you
I must go on and on
I will follow
Wherever you lead me I will follow on

I will follow you
I must go on and on
I will follow
Wherever you lead me I will follow on.