Released on SueMi Records, Berlin, in 2007 in 12" red vinyl. There are a few left of this edition.
Includes unlimited streaming of Lucy Over Lancashire [12" single]
via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
ships out within 3 days
Streaming + Download
Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
£2GBP or more
Limited edition compact disc
Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album
Re-issued as a CD on Owd Scrat Records in June 2014. This is now sold out but there are plans for a tenth anniversary remaster CD to be released in 2017 (see elsewhere on this or the Owd Scrat Bandcamp pages).
Includes unlimited streaming of Lucy Over Lancashire [12" single]
via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
The 'vocalist' of the track is Lucy, a ‘spryte of the air’ who is possessing the grooves of the vinyl record itself. Above and amidst 16 minutes of righteous dub reggae and Lancastrian-tinged post-punk, Lucy tells of how she is damned to endlessly repeat Satanic stories about the English county of Lancashire that she has been told by the evil and shadowy figure of ‘Alan’.
The track was originally commissioned by Touchstones, Rochdale. and first broadcast on 18th November 2006 on the Radio Lancashire programme On the Wire, whose longstanding commitment to dub reggae provided one of the inspirations for the piece. The original red vinyl 12" was released by SueMi Records, Berlin, in 2007. It notably reached the top 5 of the Dandelion Radio Festive Fifty of that year and received enthusiastic notices from Huw Stephens (Radio 1), Marc Riley (6Music) and Steve Barker (Radio Lancashire) amongst others. A CD re-issue on Owd Scrat Records came out in 2014, and a CD remastered version in 2017 (see owdscrat.com ).
…and all I know about mysel’ is from what Alan’s told me, he’s chief sprite, there’s a lot of us sprites, he said, spread over Lancashire, air sprites, water sprites, marlocking like mad…you are now listening to this record, and it’s a very special record, I’ll tell you t’ story behind it after I’ve introduced mysel’, or mysel’ according to Alan, everything I know’s told to me by Alan, and Alan said I were one of t’ ‘sprites of th’ air’, a boggart, a skriker, but airborne, and without a body, no substance, only a voice, a ceaseless voice, but whatever I am, there must be more than one o’ me, though I can’t see anyone, and I can’t see Alan, there’s just a faint ginger shape occasionally, ‘at must be Alan I presume, a carrot coloured contour in t’ darkness, or t’ dark redness, it’s more of a deep red gloom everywhere, all around me, and all I know about mysel’ is from what Alan’s told me, he’s chief sprite, there’s a lot of us sprites, he said, spread over Lancashire, air sprites, water sprites, marlocking like mad, doing t’ work of th’ evil one, Satan that is, we’ve been here for centuries, and I’ve been all over, until recently I were inside a pair of Puma trainers hanging on a telephone wire over a bus stop on th’ A666 near Darwen, Alan told me this, I were hanging over t’ land, my voice merging with t’ bleeding busy bombinating buzz on t’ telephone wire above me, I were damned to carry on whining inside t’ shoes, haunting t’ trainers, ‘at’s what Alan told me, positively possessing pendulous Puma pumps I were, and I told mysel’ stories to keep me going, I were never silent, I would have liked to be silent, but I couldn’t be silent, so I told t’ stories Alan had told me, I don’t know any others, to keep me going as I were hanging there in those rotten old trainers, stinking to high heaven they were, though I couldn’t smell them, suffering Jesus, they would have stunk, if I could have smelled them, and it were a great view I had up there, apparently, or it would have been if I could’ve seen it, a view over Pendle Hill in Lancashire, chosen place is Pendle, and t’ rest of Lancs, part of northern England ‘at’s touched by evil, it’s all over t’ shop, so Alan informed me, Lancashire were always thought to be one of t’ ‘dark corners of t’ land’, a superstitious place, witches and Popery, but they’re not stupid, t’ Lancastrians, it’s not that, they’re just used to weirdness, and they still believe in Satan, Dark Lord, they don’t support him, but they believe in him, and no wonder, he’s chosen to base his business operations in their land, their Rose Red land, do you gawm?, it all makes sense once tha thinks about it.
Devil’s branding and marketing strategy involves associating himself with t’ colour red, colour of magic, raspiest ruddy raspberry red, and Lancashire is t’ Red Rose County, red rose ‘at were garlanded around t’ gardens of Babylon, and one of t’ big football teams in Lancs, who play in red, even call themselves Red Devils, and if its numbers tha wants, th’ A666 highway runs reet through t’ county up to Pendle, so tha can’t get more obvious than that, if tha wants Satanic associations, Satanic with a capital S, and what’s more, there were something else, valleys around Pendle, yes, where a few of t’ local witches were caught a few years ago, ‘at’s where t’ whole plan were kicked off, some of th’ other witches got together, for a bit of revenge and merry mischief, they were known for merriment, Lancs witches, and they put a spell on t’ small scale weaving industry in those valleys, and their spell meant small industry gradually transformed into t’ great Satanic cotton mills of th’ Industrial Revolution, t’ heart of t’ fearful fiery furnace of th’ Industrial World, and so t’ whole of t’ global capitalist machine all grew out of those Lancashire valleys, triggered by t’ work of t’ witches, working for t’ Devil himself, Dark One himself, capital D, capital O, De’il were a weaver as well you know, it’s all down to him, t’ end of t’ world through global warming and ecological catastrophe caused by mass consumption and industrial expansion, it’s all part of his plan, his extreme x-certificate exercise, disaster movie stuff, brewed up in some cauldrons in Pendle, ‘at’s why Merxx and Angles, first thinkers of global capitalism, ‘at’s why they were in Manchester a while back, they needed to be at t’ beating heart of t’ bubonic barbarous beast, to predict how it would evolve, how t’ paroxysm would come, how t’ beast would be defeated by its own contradictions, it’s a nice thought, can’t see it mysel’, its not part of t’ plan anyway, ‘at’s what Alan tells me, the plan of Owd Scrat, Dark Lord, capital D capital L, for world domination through global industrial capitalism, it all started off with those cotton weaving wily witches in Lancashire, then t’ mills arrived, which got bigger and bigger, t’ mills needed cheaper and cheaper cotton, so th’ African slave trade were built up through t’ Lancashire port of Liverpool by Liverpool merchants to provide cheap labour to pick cotton in America, ‘at were all Satan’s idea, and t’ cotton mill workers in Lancashire themselves were practically chained to their large, looming looms, small childer worked in a hell on earth, in deafening noise and sweltering heat, and believe it or not, at one point t’ mill workers, white slaves, showed support for Lincoln’s American Civil War forces trying to abolish slave trade in t’ US, forces ‘at were blockading t’ slaving south, even though their blockade had led to a shortage o’ cotton, the Cotton Famine, the Panic it were called, bobbins were idle, and the Lancashire workers had to dree and were clemmin’ for years, it were terrible for ‘em, but mill workers still supported blockade, an example of t’ selfless solidarity o’ slaves with slaves, Lancashire workers were fighting back, trying to foil t’ Devil’s plan, and slavery were abolished in t’ cotton fields of America, a setback for Satan, but t’ wage slavery carried on in t’ Lancashire mills, then later in t’ twentieth century, workers were brought over from t’ Asian sub-continent to slave for t’ wages, until they too were thrown out o’ work, and they were stuck there, in t’ mill towns, hassled by t’ BNP, far right party who’s leader stood for election in Lancashire, where else?, all part of t’ plan, keeping t’ kitschey county Dark, with a capital D, and Alan told me all this, when he emerged out of t’ red mist, or his shape loomed, I should say, there were no emerging, if only there were emerging, but there’s only ever looming, looming redness, and gingerness.
I were going to tell you about this record weren’t I, well I am doing, sort of, so stick with me, it will all become clear, what were I going to say?, there’s another looming shape, that were it, as well as Alan, another skrikey whine, th’ voice must be a mate of Alan’s, they both must be part of t’ sprite committee ‘at’s responsible for me, or they could be t’ same person, as t’other one is ginger as well, any road, Alan said ‘at t’other one were his assistant, so they must be two folks after all, he told me that Mick, Mick Bucknall is t’other one’s name, had a pop group called Impy Red, there’s colour red again, he hung out with t’ Red Devil footballers a lot, and Mick’s musical group were really famous, Alan said, Satan can sort all that out no problem, chart success, all t’ rest, t’ music world is under t’ Big S’s thumb, always has been, selling souls, Devil’s music and all ‘at jazz, and Mick once tried to work with reggae producer Lee Scratch Berry, he asked Lee to produce one of his records, because Jamaican dub music is a threat to t’ Dark Forces, capital D and F, Alan told me this as well, there’s something about dippy dubby drops in t’ deep dub mixes, moments when all th’ instruments drop-out into an abyss of silence, with snare shots echoeing across t’ void, these moments suck up evil like a black hole, and t’ dubby bass, deep deep deep de deep dub bass absorbs and slows down t’ evil energy, so Mick wanted to discover t’ secret of t’ dub, to learn how it conquers Darkness, he even started a record label putting out dub records, so he could tame and then destroy t’ dub, but Lee suspected something, he wouldn’t get involved with mad mawkin masticating micturer Mick up to his rigs, he knew, all t’ dub folk know, about Lancashire as heart of Babylon, ‘at’s how Jamaican dub music found its way back to Lancashire, because t’ music ‘at came out of Caribbean slavery tried to undermine t’ beast from within, he that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity, it makes sense, dub is a farrantly righteous music, so t’ dub got into t’ red county and invaded th’ airwaves, a Radio Lancashire programme called Up On t’ Wire started to play t’ dub music, it tried to turn t’ terrible tide, and t’ programme started broadcasting in t’ 1980s from a studio a few miles away from Pendle hill, it got t’ dub on th’ air, it tried to drown out sprites like me, drowning out diabolical voices of t’ Lancashire air, and Lee Berry appeared live on t’ programme, he stayed in Clitheroe near Pendle while he were there, he supported th’ effort, and because of all this the Great Sprites Panic happened, and all t’ sprites started wasting away, th’ evil sucked out of them, I needed to tak’ refuge in th’ hanging trainers, I were losing ability to sprite, but Alan heard of t’ dub threat, he had to stop it, so he went on t’ radio, sprites do that a lot, it’s easy, we are a bit like radio waves, voices on th’ air, that’s all we are, so he went on t’ radio, as Alan Keswick, he started a late night phone-in show on Red Rose Radio, and he were crabbed and croat, he savagely abused anyone who went onto t’ programme, th’ air were clarty with fraps and wild ravings, sorest madness of t’ world, he spat bilious bloody black bile of Satan out onto th’ airways, trying to reclaim t’ Lancashire air for t’ Darkness, tha could hear t’ barking of th’ hounds of hell themselves in t’ background as he broke off for t’ ad breaks, and in Revelations thirteen all of this is prophesied, ‘a ginger man will blacken and reclaim th’ air over t’ red land with evil words’, it says, or words to that general effect, if any man have an ear let him hear I say, and in Revelations thirteen, if you put together every sixth word from the start of the verse, what do you get? Lancashire radio wrath.
I was going to tell you about this record weren’t I, I’m coming to that, and anyway, Alan often played a song on his show called Helter Skelter, by a pop group from Liverpool, as often as he could, a record famous for t’ hidden messages ‘at only Keswick himself could interpret, and he also played ‘at other Lancashire group, t’ Fallen, who were named after Lucifer and his mates who descended from heaven into th’ abyss, but both these groups were only half Dark, so to speak, t’ Fallen were half evil as a result of a botched possession attempt by Mick Bucknall himself, Mick were a music fanzine writer and used to pester t’ lead singer of t’ Fallen for interviews, he were really trying to influence t’ Fallen towards t’ Dark Side, which he only half achieved, and from then on all of t’ Fallen’s records contained a bit of Darkness, their gigs and records were big bilious bleeding battles between t’ Darkness and t’ Light, like Lancashire itself, and some writing on one of t’ Fallen’s single covers summed up conflict of forces, it contained this peach of a pleading prophecy: ‘I urge t’ finder of this master tape never to unleash it on humanity! – Ah! Already th’ evil Deit-y Ri-Kol is clawing at my brain! – If it is unleashed – The Fall is here, th’ ectoplasm exorcised and Humanity Can Either Eat That Grenade Or Face t’ Second Dark Age’, meaning t’ next one after th’ industrial age I presume, when Satan has his very vicious victorious victory, th’ only way out is to blow tha head off, I guess ‘at’s what it all means, singer Mark E, the E is th’ evil bit obviously, embodied t’ Dark/Light dichotomy within himself, a useless hexen priest, re-living t’ witch trials, he could practice many half Dark Arts, always looked a bit deawldy, and could croon like an angel, ‘at last bit’s not true, but there were another thing, to do with Bibles, its gone, well anyway, there were one time, yes, t’ Fallen accidentally supported Christian Irish band U3, and th’ original support band dropped out, obviously cursed by t’ mighty mithering Mark E, and t’ U3 fans, who know a red mist when they see one, chanted ‘Satanists! Satanists!’ at t’ Fallen and threw Bibles at t’ band, they threw big black brassy Bibles at them, and what’s more t’ Fallen once wrote a song in celebration of t’ radio shows o’ Alan Keswick, and Alan were very tak’n with this, he told me so, he told me all of this, I’m just repeating what he’s said, and he said t’ song were a B side called ‘Lucifer over Lancashire’.
It didn’t work out, Alan on th’ airways, he were tak’n off th’ air, defeated by t’ forces of dub, but Alan had an alternative plan, and here’s where this record comes in, it’s based on another prophecy, a prophecy about ‘a red disc ‘at will restore t’ Dark Force over t’ red country’, and so Alan told me I had been selected out of thousands of sprites for t’ job, he sen it were assignment in spryting I’d been waiting for all these years, even though I didn’t want assignments, I just wanted to stop, but I were damned to carry on, I’ve said this before, and any road, he wanted me to go to a pressing plant and tak’ occult possession of a red coloured vinyl record, he said I would be able to leave my pumps behind and live in t’ disc, it had to be vinyl, tha can’t possess CDs, not enough texture to them or something, and outmoded technological forms have more scope for subversion, Alan said, th’ revolutionary possibilities o’ t’ discarded and overlooked, is how he put it, and I would live in t’ shiny red grooves, if tha could call it living, though I had to agree it would be better than t’ trainers, I couldn’t deny that, and it would be a dub record, playing t’ dub folk at their own game, in their own lair, my revolving red ranting record would be broadcast on th’ Up On t’ Wire programme itself, it would destroy t’ dub from within, it would finally defeat t’ dub challenge to Satan’s plan, t’ great plan cooked up in t’ big black bubbling cauldrons of Satan’s own county, and old Lucifer will reign over Lancashire once more, his agents Alan and Mick by his side, ready for t’ day of victory, and now it’s too late for thee, because this is th’ record, tha’ll be listening to it now, tha only has to listen, ‘at’s all it tak’s to be damned, tha cannot escape now, tha’s damned, is thee, well and truly, but I can’t keep this up, tha were damned already, if truth be told, and I don’t believe what Alan’s told me, its nowt to do with this record, or me, or Alan, or Satan, it would be better for thee, wouldn’t it, if only pointy bearded fork tailed red blokes, or old crones, or DJs, or ginger singers, if darkness only came from them, it would be so easy, but it isn’t, you know that don’t you?, I’m sorry about all this, it’s the way things go, I’m not doing my job am I?, I think I’ve failed my mission, I’m just glad to get out of those trainers, after all those years, and get onto a record, a big red vinyl spinning record, with a big red shiny cover, and I bet tha would have done just t’ same as me, if tha were in my shoes, so to speak.
Here’s th’ end of my record, run off groove is coming up, where t’ needle slips across t’ shiny red vinyl and lifts up, and there’s silence, silence for thee, but not silence for me, if only it were silence for me, I’m still whining on in t’ grooves don’t forget, still damned to carry on, inside these grooves, inside your head, at least I’m not inside trainers, at least it’s not that, but I still have to carry on, ‘at’s th’ thing, carry on ranting away forever, think of that, think of what that word forever means.