Lyrics – Someone Else’s Problem

Hey hey campers.

I’m getting a little out of sorts. Or at least out of order. But one thing I know, I usually post lyrics to the next song around the same time that we go and record the thing. And one thing I did not do with this song is post the lyrics around the same time that we went and recorded the thing.

So here they are. I guess it could seem like I’m getting a little, er, preachy. Honestly it’s just timing. Once again I wrote this a few years ago. But now seemed to be a good time to release it. I decided to add a middle eight and wrote this in what felt like not enough time. I think I like it, but time will tell.

You don’t need me to tell you this is self-explanatory, so I won’t. Oh wait, I did. Bother. What I will say is that this song kind of comes out of me mishearing a lyric in Sadako by 3dBs Down. Anyways, here y’go:

Someone Else’s Problem
Without wishing to get too heavy-handed
I’d like to suggest that the boat in which we’ve all just been landed
Is listing quite badly to port or to starboard
I never really took the time to learn to tell them apart
Oh, but that’s not the point I digress
It’d probably be a good idea to lend a hand with this mess
If that’s not too inconvenient
Let’s hope when we get to the root of it the problem is easy to mend.
Without starting again

Hold up – do you mind?
You’re demanding this of me
When I know my rights
And I won’t be left behind
We’ll all stand in line
To get all that we deserve
Why not change your mind?
Why not take the other side?

So here’s what I’m wanting to say
It’s been said so many times that I think it might just be a cliché
If there’s one thing you could try
You should try being somebody else, and if you do in reply
They might have a quick go at being you
Perhaps when you’re back cutting slack might not be so hard to do
Can I say it again?
Not that it’s likely to help it’s always someone else’s problem
Maybe I’m spent

If you can sit there in the trappings of your comfortable life
And still surround yourself with hatred and bitterness
If you can’t muster just the smallest spark of empathy
And still think only about what you can get for yourself
Then it’s not someone else’s problem


What a week. I think I’d like to talk further about some these things, but being as how I’m also pretty busy this week, it will need to wait a little bit longer. Seemed right to do a brief summary though.

  • First off, on Saturday 21st we were recording dog Tired, which I believe I mentioned. Hoping for release early next week.
  • Next, Wednesday evening was a strangeday practice. The previous practice saw all of us feeling a little tired and kind of lack lustre, but this one was way better. The practice was in preparation for NAGfest. More of which later.
  • Thursday was the last NAG Open Mic. I’ve been running this open mic with Jack for 10 years. It was a really nice evening to end on, and I’m hoping to talk a bit more about that in a post dedicated to the subject.
  • Friday was a Roo’s Radio practice, again for NAGfest. It went on pretty late as we were trying to get the set ready and it had been a long time since we’d played together.
  • Saturday was the first day of NAGfest, a local music festival in its second year. Roo’s Radio were on at 6pm. Our set went really well. Paul, who had also done a lot of the organisation for NAGfest, joined us on drums, and it all felt very comfortable. Despite having not played for a while I think the songs are with us now.
  • Sunday was the second day of the festival, and strangeday were playing at 8pm. This set also went well, although I was struggling a little voice-wise due to a lot of late nights and lots of singing. We played a new song, Long defeat, which possibly went down better than all the other songs.

It was also great to catch a lot of great bands and friends at NAGfest. Jack, Ant, Steve, 3dBs Down, Ab and the Underclass, No Limit Street Band, Sam, Aaron, Hog Roast, One Day Elliott and Beer Pressure were all very cool.


Studio day – Mind your PMQs

Tracking Mind your PMQs

I won’t take you on a magical mystery tour of the day this time, as it’s not proved to be my favourite format for reporting studio days. Instead, I’ll just throw out thoughts in random fashion. That’s proved popular so far. In as much as I haven’t had any comments posted saying that you don’t like it.

One of the amazing things about recording every month is the fantastic improvised bands we end up with. This month’s offering will feature splendmazing (getting bored with my superlatives) contributions from Paul, Ant and Matt O all of whom it was a pleasure hanging out with during the day in addition to adding their musicosity (almost definitely a word) to the song.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned, but Mind Your PMQs was only written in the last couple of weeks, so it hasn’t had time to embed too much. There was a little more writing on the spot than we’ve previously experienced, which did lead to a slightly longer day and we’ll need an extra evening session this week to get the backing vocals done.

It’s an obvious thing to say, but doing this regularly really does increase confidence. Particularly with vocals and acoustic guitar. I’m still a bit ‘fish out of water’ with the electric guitar (borrowed from Aj of strangeday fame this month) but I do have enormous fun playing the parts. Once we’d worked out what the parts should be.

The vocals were pretty good fun to do. We were really trying to get some passion in there and I attempted my best Dave Grohl impression (I’m rocking the Discount Dave Grohl look at the moment) for the final verse. I’m interested to see how it comes out. Hopefully Paul will be able to work his majicks.

I will say this. This recording/releasing lark is getting addictive. I’m already trying to work out how I might be able to step up the pace to twice a month. Stay tuned chizzlers.


I’m totally going to put this one out there without too much thought. I was driving home and two of the following list came on shuffle and I decided I would tell you all my top seven uses of harmony/backing vocals. Odds are I’ve forgotten something crucial, but the internet’s such a transient place that I don’t suppose it will matter. Today’s top seven lists are tomorrow’s discarded clickbait. Not that this place is very good at being clickbait, but you know what I mean.

(By the way, I know seven is trendy and only for clickbait, and I was originally going to do five. But then it turned into six. And then seven. That’s the way it goes folks. Sometimes I’m accidentally trendy. But never accidentally clickbait. Or deliberately.)

Anyway, there’s not much I do that isn’t harmony/backing vocal ridden. With Roo’s Radio in particular we’re all about the vocal layers. So here’s my favourite harmony/backing vocal moments in history. As ever, in no particular order.

Ben FoldsFred Jones, Part 2
This is a gorgeous song, whichever way you cut it, but when John McRae (from Cake, y’all) kicks in with his harmony I fall over. Metaphorically.

RadioheadBlack Star
Another beautiful song, with very few backing vocals actually (just the barely audible chorus one). Then in the 3rd verse the electric guitars depart leaving just bass, drums and vocals and out of nowhere this incredible harmony pops up and floors you. I realise this is another way of saying “I fall over”. And the harmony starts on the line “I keep falling over”. See how well I plan this shit?

Nitin SawhneySay Hello
Good grief I love this song. Honestly I just want to tumble into this song and float away. Then at the end you get the chorus with its multi part vocal AND this guy singing in Indian (?) comes in and then the song wins at everything.

Five Iron FrenzyOn Distant Shores
Dennis Culp is a harmony genius. If you need proof, listen to the chorus of On Distant Shores. I love this song anyway, but I have to loop the chorus (since it only happens the two times) as the backing vocal is so stunningly creative. Zoinks!

3dBs Down – (pretty much any of them)
Speaking of Zoinks, I couldn’t talk harmonies without mentioning the dBs. That I’m in a band with three lead singers is almost entirely down to them. And their arrangements are fantastic fun, very creative and so full of energy that I don’t want to fall over. I’m struggling to narrow this down, but let’s go for Quick Fix, Greatest Day or Fish Hook as prime examples. Well, if you’re going to push me, let’s go for the chorus after the solo in Fish Hook where the instruments cut out and all three vocals collide splendidly over a big fat pick scrape.

Poor Old LuSlow
I just love Aaron Sprinkle’s backing vocal part that comes in at the end here. So much so that I think I partly stole it for the end of Dream Again. Oops. That’s all I really have to say about that.

Imogen HeapHide & Seek
This song is basically all harmony. It’s lovely. My favourite part? “Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth”. Amazing.

Ok I’m all done. Did I get it wrong? Think I’m an idiot with an idiot coating? Got better suggestions? Better start a blog of your own because I turned off comments. Shazam!

Oh, also, I’m not linking you to youtube videos of these. I don’t have time. If you care, you know how search engines work. I’m a giver.

Studio day – Pint of gold


Paul recording drums - Pint of GoldLuckily Paul had all of the drums set up, so we just needed to cable them, line check them and set all the gains and we were off. A combination of a slightly late arrival and a bit of chatting meant that recording started around 10am. But within half an hour the drums were finished and now we’ve moved on to packing down ready for the bass.

Si recording bass - Pint of goldWe had a bit of a special treat because Si from 3dBs Down had agreed to come and play bass on the track. He’d written some beautiful parts and they’ve taken the track to a whole new and splendid place. All done and dusted in around an hour. Marvellous.

Toby recording acoustic guitar - Pint of goldBit of editing and setting up and we’re off with the acoustic. Hoping to do the drums and bass some justice with my playing. We’ll see…

Acoustic all done. Feeling very pleased, and everything’s going pretty well so far. Off to pick up some lunch while Paul sets up for the electric guitar.

Toby recording electric guitar - Pint of goldManaged to borrow a beautiful telecaster for the electric guitar from an open mic regular, Dave. For some reason as a teenager I couldn’t stand telecasters, but I absolutely love them now. Tone is sounding huge and the part is adding loads of energy.

All done. That was better than I expected. Partly because the tele was such a joy to play. Vocals next. Paul made me warm up using this video. I know it’s good to do but warming up really bores me. But I went for it anyway. Not sure I did the last exercise very well, but hey ho.

Toby recording vocals - Pint of goldMy vocals are done. That’s all of my parts. Just backing vocals from Cec and Paul to do now and we’re all done. Time for a beer I think. To the south!

Cec recording vocals - Pint of goldAll done bar the shouting. And by shouting I mean Paul’s vocals. He’s doin’ em tomorrow. That was a fun day.