> Rick Kemp > Records > Spies

Rick Kemp: Spies

Rick Kemp: Spies (Fellside FECD133)

Rick Kemp

Fellside Recordings FECD133 (CD, UK, 1998)

Engineered by Alex Warnes at Phoenix Studios, Brampton, Cumbria
Mastered by Paul Adams
Produced by Rick Kemp, ‘Spud’ Sinclair and Alex Warnes
Executive producer Paul Adams


Rick Kemp: vocals [1-11], bass guitar [1-11], acoustic guitar [2-3, 5-6, 8-9, 11];
Andrew ‘Spud’ Sinclair: electric and acoustic guitars [1-4, 6-10], backing vocals [1-2, 4, 7];
Charlie Carruthers: drums [1-4, 6-10]

with guests
Tracey De Freitas: keyboards [2, 4, 6];
Alex Warnes: keyboards [4, 8];
Dave Langdon: pedal steel guitar [5, 11];
Ric Alexander: percussion [6, 10, 10], bodhrán [9];
Rose Kemp: backing vocals [8];
Barry Coope, Jim Boyes, Lester Simpson: backing vocals [9]


  1. Boundaries (2.24)
  2. Long Way From Paradise (6.45)
  3. Pressure’s Off (5.42)
  4. Hello Peace (5.23)
  5. Back on Your Own Again (4.32)
  6. Great Divide (6.49)
  7. New Baptism (4.19)
  8. Heart of Stone (6.54)
  9. Judgement Day (6.25)
  10. All in This Together (5.38)
  11. Georgetown Skyline (3.53)

Tracks 1-2, 5-6, 8, 11 Rick Kemp ;
Tracks 3-4, 7, 9-10 Rick Kemp, Andrew ‘Spud’ Sinclair

Sleeve Notes and Texts


Some thoughts on edges and limits

Try to run from the room you’ll come bouncing off the walls
Trip wires all around you trying to make you fall
Bang your head on the ceiling if you grow to tall
A fence near the ground if you try to crawl

Just an illusion yes it’s only a game
You cross one boundary you’re in another frame

There’s an end in sight everywhere you look
A frame in the law and a border in the book
For the blind man, kind man, beggar man, crook
A tunnel with a light but it’s just another hook


Always living in this box
With my compasses and clocks
Exit signs on all the doors
Then some distant memory
Tells me even when I’m free
I was always wanting more

Free wheeling free will take me to the stars
Motor me to Mercury and marry me to Mars
Break-in, break-out, stay where you are
The guard and the prisoner are both behind bars


Long Way From Paradise

I was thinking about the couple living in suburbia who led a “double life” for so long.

Just two shadows on a windy street
Caught in the headlights of a late-night tram car
They’re always careful when the people that they meet
Start asking questions about who they really are

Just two figures in a file somewhere
With no future in the run-down down town
They wish that they were walking back home somewhere
Look over their shoulders as they go underground

This is a long, long way from paradise
Ah but then who’s to say just how far
We took a wrong, wrong turn, just once or twice
When we were lost among the stars

“Now how did we get here?” the man asked his wife
“Well does it really matter,” replied the woman’s eyes
“It may be in code but a life is a life
And after this assignment there’ll be no more dangerous lies”

Just two dreamers in a bed somewhere
Cuddled together as the back door closes
There was neighbourly music coming peeling off the walls
Like a heavenly choir around their bed of roses


Pressure’s Off

An acknowledgement of the largely unacknowledged effects of poverty

Happiness is history and love is in arrears
Waiting for some good news
Living’s just a mystery of poverty and tears
We’ve got nothing left to lose
It’s been a hard road for the family
Trying to make the ends meet
A rocky, rocky road girl for you and me
Living down on mean street

The bills were building up around me
Faster than a high rise
There’s no use pretending any more
I’m in trouble big-size
I can’t get out of this house for the wolves
Hanging ’round my front door
I’m burning the floorboards to keep warm
Wonder what could be in store

Things will be fine again when the pressure’s off
We’ll have a good time again when the pressure’s off
But will you be mine again when the pressure’s off?

Throw me a crust, throw me some crumbs
I’m living on the breadline
I think I got it wrong when I did my sums
You known that’s not a good sign
No money for tobacco is going up in smoke
Gotta have a drum roll
No money for a drink is going down the sink
Sober on the King Cole


repeat first verse


Hello Peace

Welcome home, step inside
There’s a room upstairs where you can hide
Sheets turned down, silks of blue
There’s nothing spared, for a star like you

My old friend, how you been
Is that right what you say, that times are lean
Now you’re here, twist of fate
Long time coming but you’re not too late

Miracles and mysteries and mirages
And wonders never cease
When my old friend comes to say hello
Hello peace

My old friend, when you walk with me
I share your freedom, your energy
Light my world, smooth my ground
Simple silence, the only sound


repeat first two verses

Back on Your Own Again

First recorded by the illustrious Michael Chapman in 1970 on his Wrecked Again album

I’ll be good to this one’s what you say
And I’m sure you mean it all along
But you’re not built that way
Everything you touch goes wrong

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Looks like you’re losing another friend
Looks like your troubles never seem to end
Looks like you’re back on your own again

You try but it’s so hard to play a straight game
You always found it easy to do wrong
But you’ll get a mention just the same
’Cos nobody’s been losing all that long

No good saying that it happened once before
`Cos that would just be lying to yourself
It’s happened a dozen times or more
Don’t seem like you’re doing all that well

Great Divide

Minor changes in outlook sometimes have major repercussions - easy to say!

Never look back when history calls
Look at your future without any walls
And just be yourself it’s what you do best
Some simple ideas between you and success my friend

It’s scary, it’s frightening when you’re walking with fear
But if you’re not afraid then you’re not really here
Confused by the myths that help us to survive
We sometimes forget that it’s us that’s alive not them

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
And we look up from a valley
And we look down from a ridge
Don’t see it like a barricade
See it like a bridge

There’s a bright new future across the great divide
Where everything you dreamed of is waiting on the other side
Though it seems so deep it’s really not that wide
See you there on the other side of the great divide

Some cross on a tightrope and some walk on fire
Some stroll through green meadows and some crawl through briar
Doesn’t matter how we get there just as long as we arrive
On the far, far side of the great divide my friend

Sometimes it’s a river and we swim it with ease
Then the peaceful river turnes to a raging sea
So throw me a line if I start to drown
`Cos I need you my friend, to help me turn myself around

New Baptism

Fun was on top, wisdom thin on the ground - can I start again please?

Red-hot shoes, white-hot feet
Everything moving along this street
Step from the car when I get off the ’plane
Just get home then I’m off again

Had a screaming skull in a big white hat
Had a guardian angel in a Hendon flat
He tried to whisper but he had to shout
Said “permanent peak-time gonna burn me out”

Baptism, re-birth
New start right here on earth
Start again a brand new man
Think what I will and do what I can

Sometimes at the dead of night
I used to wake up screaming ’cos I didn’t feel right
My known world was going ’round and ’round
Peace and quiet was nowhere to be found


All I wanted way back then
Was to be in the driving seat
All I want in these hard times
Is to stay upon my feet
All I want for the future
Is a clean street

repeat first verse


Heart of Stone

(see also Maddy Prior’s version of Heart of Stone on her album Flesh And Blood)

I was talking on the ’phone to an abstract friend
All the way from the age of innocence
About the way things were, and the way things are
And how a new life starts when an old life ends
The promise of a new experience
And how the strangest things become our guiding star
And how it’s only re-runs movies we’ve already seen
Half a lifetime’s vanished, could have been a dream

I said good-bye, I really had to fly
Had to be on my way some time ago
To set the world aright just to make my mark
But I keep a brave face with a smile in place
’Cause I really don’t want to let it show
That I fear failure like a demon in the dark
And all this searching for perfection
Is only searching for a voice to call our own

What are we gonna do about this heart of stone
That bends the mind and twists the bones
How are we gonna feel when we’re all alone at night?
How are we gonna make that old friend sing
How are we gonna fix his damaged wings
How are we gonna deal with that bad old heart of stone?

I was cruising in this clapped-out, care worn carriage
Near the crumbling stones of Hadrian
Passing monuments to passing men
I was heading for a frontier town in time
On the borders of a new millennium
And weighing my prospects on a scale of ten
Leisure time and luxury they’ve never been so high
But pride and prejudice they reach right to the sky


Judgement Day

Talking to myself rather than the rest of the world ... although ...

I measure myself in terms of you
It’s just become a thing I do
And I measure you in terms of me
It’s just the way things came to be
And using pre-owned information
I’m always seeking confirmation
Of what I think about what I see
Embracing those who agree with me
About where that finest of lines should be
Between romance and reality

Tolerance I hear you say
Gotta get away from Judgement Day
Understanding clears the way
Gotta get away from Judgement Day

With half the world denied a voice
Here we are just spoiled for choice
Convenience dictates the course
Of opinions formed by market force
And we get comfortable with crude rejections
Based on primitive projections
Or lines on hands or tarot cards
Or signs of age or signs of stars
But the names on clothes or badge on cars
Give no clue to who we really are


Chorus 2:
… And the jury took a holiday
And as they left I heard one say
Everybody travels their own way
So we gotta get away from Judgement Day

You and me and the words we say
We’re the authors of this daily play
We write the script as we make the news
Create history from the bits we choose
And the truth it changes with the daily mood
Like a change of music or a change of food
While piles and piles of future dust
Are moving mountains to earn a crust
That would be no problem be no fuss
If everybody lived like us


Chorus 2

All in This Together

Love song, crie de cœur and manifesto.

Your eyes were lending their light to the fading seaside day
Saying so much more than you ever say
Waves crashed up against the harbour wall
And you said “any plan is better than no plan at all”

We’re all in this together

Your voice was hanging in the autumn trees
Singing loves mysterious songs across the centuries
“My way is only one way, it’ll work for all we know
Schemes are only dreams when they’ve got no place to go”

We’re all in this together
If we’re standing in the middle or we’re standing outside
If we all pull together
We could make this an easier ride for everyone

Every day we walk a little further into the big unknown
Just to see how far we’ll get with this heart of stone
If you want to keep a friend in me you’ll never be alone

We’re all in this together

Wounded wings watching as the birds flew south
He was living in hope and loving from hand to mouth
Steel soul melting in a furnace of rage
A beast of love trapped in a traitor’s cage


Georgetown Skyline

One way conversation at the rooftop pool of indifferent hotel, end of main runway, Washington 1969

Georgetown Skyline you see I’m here again tonight
Beside the pool reflecting lights
Of jet-planes in the sky
I wonder if tonight will be goodbye

Georgetown Skyline melting through an August dawn
Clinging rooftops wake and yawn
And send the moon away
A siren starts another Georgetown day

Maybe I should thank you
I don’t know
Confusion rules my head
Did she leave me, was I dreaming
Was I here or sleeping in my bed

Georgetown Skyline I must have listened to your warning
Resenting yet another morning
I’m here again today
To fight on through another Georgetown day

repeat first verse