Back from the Rains

Between these Dreams
Back from the Rains
Lie Still, Sleep Long
Catch Me
She Moves Thru the Fair
Sweet Life Longer
New Love Here
Welcome Wow
Your Rich Sky
Flight of Swallows
My Last, Lost Melody

… Dec ’85 … we went into the studio to make what we saw as a cross between our new bright ‘n’ sparkly ‘big-pop’ songs, and the more lyrical and gentle Eyeless songs of Rust Red September; which is kind of how it turned out, only slightly more reflective … .

BETWEEN THESE DREAMS - is a small and smoky surprise to open our way for us; just a voice alone to delineate an ever-present bewilderment; maybe on this occasion it was ’cause everyone else had gone home to clean linen and hot water bottles ‘n’ porridge ‘n’ realms of dreamy etcs … .

TWILIGHT - walking from light to dark … twilight walking as you are wrapped-around; some strong comfort that tastes so sweet - Pete evokes the ghost of the Supremes on this one (yes, right there in the middle 8!), while, for me, this is the summer night’s stroll over the fields to the pub, head full of more thoughts than will fit, heart full of willing submission to healing power of Bacchus’s very own favourite ... song and dance - a point; like a lot of songs on this lp, the basic rhythm parts were reshuffled in the studio, reorganised to better effect, after John Brand demonstrated what he thought of as ‘The Pete Becker Shuffle’, which consisted of him throwing himself around the room as if be was in the last convulsive throes of electrocution, while shouting “you can’t dance to this bastard” … and so, with a little application and imaginative interpretation on the part of the listener, we truly endeavoured to make sure that you could … .

BACK FROM THE RAINS - my personal, utter favourite of anything we’ve ever, ever done … just something about the instrumentation gets me, really excites and moves me, quite apart from the song itself, which I’m so proud of – the instrumentation, it’s like a mad soupcon of different and clashing elements … the mournful harmonica, crazy wailing voices, a delicious bluesy bass line, and Pete’s mad, wonderful drums; he plays a totally unorthodox set of drums, and it really works like a dream on the right song … he played drums all over Rust Red September, and it was his characteristic unorthodox approach that helped to make that album such an individual voice … but now, with this album, it’s like we’ve got the best of both worlds, with Pete and Joby Palmer drumming in the studio. Strengths and weaknesses are shared, according to the demands of each song, whatever each song requires … tho’ it’s generally Joby who is the solid backbone type drummer, and Pete who is the ‘eccentric’ player, knocking and tapping and banging everything in sight at eighteen to the dozen … the lyric just has to be one of the most naked and tender things I’ve ever written … it echoes Welcome Now in its sentiment, really, except that it’s so much more personal and close, so close it aches … that’s me doing the barmy soprano choirboy bit in the background; a duet with myself, thanks to the miracle of technology! … if I never lift another finger to make any more music, it’s almost as if “That’s OK, everything’s said now”; to me it’s so special – I don’t know, we must have been possessed when we recorded this!

LIE STILL, SLEEP LONG - a vignette that says tread carefully, exercise caution, else you’ll trample all to dust – simple synth lines and guitars and percussion delineate the frailty of this simple song; mixed at 7.45 am after a ridiculous all night session.

CATCH ME - another favourite; we didn’t believe this one when we finally got it home to play the rough mixes … everything sounded so good, and we’d practically just banged it straight onto tape without too much current thought! – some straightforward love lyric imagery … “sister call me, sweet memory/catch a fire, catch me burning, gleaming/blue-water eyes every moment” … and a lovely bell-like keyboard line that really elevates the song – this is a song we’ve been playing onstage for the past year and a half, now; it’s great to see it turning out so well at long last!

SHE MOVES THRU’ THE FAIR - picture this; 4.30 am, a huge deserted garage, full moonlight with one ‘a capella’ vocalist drawing the delicate past from the blushing winter air, in song, in songs to some labyrinth mystery; almost beauty itself, and a memory so long to hold dear – oh! the imagery in this! … poignant isn’t it? … the very fact that songs of this ilk have been sung for hundreds of years, and still sound newborn, speaks volumes … as timeless as the sea, this; and almost as mysterious ‘The Swan in the Evening’ is the title of a beautiful ‘n’ Bad ‘n’ strange book by Rosamund Lehmann, which, in part gave me the idea to sing this … the book, plus a recording of the song that I heard by (wait for it) Nana Miscouri (?!) … which just goes to show, you gotta keep your eyes open, daddy-o!

SWEET LIFE LONGER - so unashamed, one could blush … a veritable hymn of praise in love long and lasting a waltz to trip around any ballroom to … .

NEW LOVE HERE - big pop is back! (so is big mum); guitars ‘n’ guitars ‘n’ walloping drums underline a sentiment felt upon any crazy god-given moment, as lucky as fate catches you; that’s what the song says … and I, for one want to be there … .

WELCOME NOW - this is the same recording as the single, included ‘cause it’s going to be reactivated/reissued, plus to tie in with its release as a single abroad, plus for posterity reasons! This is the first thing we’ve recorded since ’83 (apart from endless demos), and our first collaboration with John Brand, who’s brought a fuller, cleaner edge to our music – not surprising, really when you consider his track record … Rush, Kiss, The Cult … tho’ in fairness, he’s worked with more varied people like Aztec Camera, The Waterboys, etc, so we get the best of both worlds (?!) Dave Ruffy plays drums on this (and bloody well, too) he was great, did it damn near perfect on the second ‘pass’, correcting only the middle 8 … this was the first time we’d worked with Elizabeth S on vocals, too … so that was interesting; 3 o’clock in the morning, a bottle of Dutch courage in her hand, and she’d done it … interesting voice, Liz, kind of deeper than the average female voice, with a peculiar texture to it that perks your ears up, kinda plaintive, too … this is the first track that I’ve ever put any sort of guitar solo on (you can’t really count things like Dreaming at Rain, different ball game altogether), tho’ don’t blink, else you’ll miss it! Yes! 5 years later and I finally summon up the courage … Pete adds some nice keyboard touches on the 3rd verse that lift the thing nicely. The lyric is a simple encompassing gesture; celebratory … a positive affirmation that touches on everything except the word “no”.

YOUR RICH SKY - by far, to my mind, the strangest piece on the album, both lyrically and musically – foghorn ship-in-the-night drones, and crashing cymbals, falling drums, all create a subdued effect of lost souls at sea, elemental weathers, kind of Dante by numbers – under the skin purgatory effect (God!!!) the lyrics discuss conflict, contradiction, the will-to-power misplaced and then, the fugitive … the sorry end-of-day … shades of sourpuss Hardy and the looming fates (!)

FLIGHT OF SWALLOWS - another long-time stage favourite, good finally to record this – Elizabeth’s voice sounds marvellous on this, earthy somehow, almost damn country and western, a sort of resignation that infects the whole track – sorry sobs of “yes, only yes”, love lost, taken with the flight of swallows out of eyesight; too late for insight, now the sands have run dry … .

MY LAST, LOST MELODY - just an aftertaste, a glimpse of the still searching, frustrating and evading, but … glimpsed! A waving farewell after the blue moods, wildsky cries and happy sad glances – just to say ‘bye!’ … for the moment … .

Martyn Bates