Not From Above!

by Alexander's Festival Hall

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1.
Not from... 01:25
Not from... a leaflet from the seminary Not from... a hope for the extraordinary Not from... documents imaginary Not from... any hope that we would marry Not from... wisdom partly planetary Not from... overconfident vocabulary Not from... an order from the military Not from... the fear of being solitary
2.
When we first hit the sea, Down on the beach there’s an island in reach, where We could play kings and queens, If only for moments rowing our dream boat, So come give your hand to me, I promised a fable from the toppest of tables, Just over this tiny sea, Our fortunes reborn before the break of the dawn And if you should, care to follow, I will promise, an end to sorrow… We’ll share our ambition, to a regal rhythm – on Peacock Island They’ll herald our mission and our dazzling decision – on Peacock Island When I first caught your eye, The display was all feathers, a heart yet untethered, When you first caught my eye, I knew in a moment, desire’s atonement So help me drag, this boat to save us, We’ll steal away, don’t call the papers… We’ll share our ambition, to a regal rhythm – on Peacock Island They’ll herald our mission, and our dazzling decisions – on Peacock Island We’re refining and honing, this Game of Enthroning – on Peacock Island The triumph is brewing, in our modern ruin – on Peacock Island This island’s too big for one, don’t tell me that you’re leaving, Princess Together is how we’ll become, history’s master and mistress... … on Peacock Island
3.
The Greats 03:48
I was, all set, all to forget, the things love does to you Who did I, think I was kidding? I read the greats, from morn ’til late, drinking deep from wisdom’s brew So who was that, set my heart spinning? But what do I know? I’m just the guy who Took a tumble underneath your poetry And when I see you, that blessed shape who Stirs my thoughts anew to curiosity I ducked the sting, that deadly thing, with equations deep and dark Just, for once, could I be colder? I wrestled with, questions stiff, how to live without a heart Truth be told, with a lack of candour But what do I know? I’m just the guy who Took a tumble underneath your poetry And when I see you, that blessed shape who Stirs my thoughts anew to curiosity And when you see me, so deeply reading It’ll be your letters not that book I bought The motivation? this new sensation, Written there in chapters two to four If 2+2 was never 4 baby ... and the sun sets in the east you say The theory’s good but not too good to question, My silence means there’s just too much to say... Rpt. choruses
4.
I can still recall the feeling, when the cameras start to roll a forward-with-the-madness keening, anything is possible Two thoughts later on the trapeze, I’m not sure what brought us here If the stunt man phones in poorly, shouldn’t we begin to care? .. Shout! .. Cut! I don’t think so Cash! Out! I don’t want to Deleted dreams – all that’s left when we’re through They won’t use all that they heard, Some of it absurd, or just too softly spoken They won’t have kept all that we did, The scenes in which we hid, lacking Oscar motion... .. Shout! .. Cut! I don’t think so Cash! Out! I don’t want to Expleted themes left behind on the floor .. Shout! .. Cut! I don’t think so Cash! Out! I don’t want to Deleted dreams – all that’s left when we’re through See I told you for real in the back of a bar, but we were too drunk to remember… The twist at the end of the film was the bit when they pan back and show you she never... I know how this ends... The message I sent might as well have been lost from the moment the movie had started… They cut to the chase where my grand monologue was supposed to have left your heart melted… I know, how this, ends… .. Shout! .. Cut! I don’t think so Cash! Out! I don’t want to Deleted dreams all that’s left when we’re through
5.
On the morning of the first day, The scene was bright if not exactly gay We were amazed you’d made it through this, Galaxies exploding in that kiss… But when do you know... does it lie like driven snow? ‘Yes…’, you said, but ‘No’... you meant... Your! Hot! Friend! A face like victory Your! Hot! Friend! A shape made history Your! Hot! Friend! A way with symmetry Your! Hot! Friend! Has got the moves On the morning of the third day Upper management began to fray Our people out there getting restless The latest thing was causing some distress For the graphs do clearly show, something new begun to glow ‘Oh...’ you fear… ‘Don’t forget – that I’m here...’ Your! Hot! Friend! A face like victory Your! Hot! Friend! A shape made history Your! Hot! Friend! A way with symmetry Your! Hot! Friend! Has got the moves Once we felt all that we did was cool.... Passing notes on those rumours heard after school Look up at night and the stars will spell out who But beware the voice that calls from just out of view... Rpt. chorus
6.
When I think of all we’ve done and how the scene is drawn I couldn’t do this all alone, so where did you come from? We were going blank and it was only morning Not exactly sad… but the colour’s a little boring Did you think that I would actually remember The things we said that morning in July? But what do you know, now that we glow, The picture’s as clear as the sky… The first impression that we get The closer you are, no, no not quite yet... The first impressions are never set But blurring your eyes, defocus and then... We were on the brink, and it was only dawning Not the bed you’d think, but wishing and hoping... Our tonic, something fake for all the sadness, Your weakness for coincidence was cool Could it be a new religion or just madness? But I was hoping to become your happy fool The first impression that we get The closer you are, no, no not quite yet... The first impressions are never set But blurring your eyes, defocus and then... When I think of everything we’ve done, and how the scene is drawn We can’t do anything all alone, so where did you come from?§
7.
New Zounds! 04:39
These are the new zounds, bright multi-colours, Better than others that you might have seen, Theirs is a new sound, skittles that knock down, Dazzling dance crown, now this crowd can dream New zounds... yeah! So these are the new zounds, proud exclamations, Decidedly spacious in their heads’ repartee But I noticed your get-go, from the moment the first note, Moved us to dancing, this ballet for free You must wander, inside wonder, if to muster, something good Don’t try harder, it’s no bother, to be all you should The accent’s not right, but just for to-night, We’ll bathe in their light, and make it our own... The sounds kinda grating, but you don’t leave love waiting... We dance here persuaded, by the lights of the town New zounds... yeah! You must wander, inside wonder, if to muster, something good Don’t try harder, it’s no bother, to be all you should You must wander, inside wonder, if to muster, something good Don’t try harder, it’s no bother, to be all you should
8.
A single thought through the smoke so black I wonder if we could still turn back—? Promise hung in the air like a lonely feather… As our eyes met across the wiring frayed The nearest town’s ten miles away Tell me do you think, should we fix it together? For when they write, what our history becomes Mistakes take their place at the centre Ignore those instructions and manuals of course A twist and a shake make it better We were only s’posed to stay the weekend But now marooned you’re my only friend Potential filled the air like descending weather Is it love at last or just a shame decayed? Into my mind the truth sashayed Your smile the tool to a mind somewhat detethered For when they come with the plaque circled blue People think first of the theory But knowledge so practical and right on cue Is the stuff you remember as victory Should...we... fix... it... together...? It ... could... work... forever... yeah! A single thought, a consuming wish Could we tie together this thing we’ve stitched, Thrown together on the road to somewhere better?
9.
Loyalty 03:54
I will be loyal to this campaign for a beautiful terrorism I’m so spoilt, you picked me, the keenest face in the queue Your bidding, so cruel, yet endlessly fascinating Then emblazoned, in sunshine, the badges with your face anew Count me on your inner team, to bring about this awful dream... Loyalty, to the Queen, to your beauty and all between Liberty, so seldom seen, dead to me, it’s just a dream I’ll be your foil, in the battle to establish your endless rule Commitment is total, we’re chattels, like the posters said we should But no turmoil, will rattle, the folks when bang on queue This Spring’s new fashion, is action, our hearts no longer made of wood Count me on your inner team, to bring about this awful dream... Loyalty, to the Queen, to your beauty and all between Liberty, so seldom seen, dead to me, it’s just a dream “We will mock your victory, all praise endless beauty Standing here to obey, thoughts we cannot convey...” Loyalty, to the Queen, to your beauty and all between Liberty, so seldom seen, dead to me, it’s just a dream Loyalty, to the Queen, to your beauty and all between Liberty, so seldom seen, dead to me, it’s just a dream
10.
On an afternoon in May… a fear you couldn’t quite allay, Should you post that letter by the door? Why does it take so many words to state, something people use their eyes to say, With a smile and nothing more... Words don’t come that easily but were there a job opportunity, The moon and stars in unity, I’d be yours at the double. Should head office have an opening, For a motivated starter who’s angling, For a chance to take you cycling, I’d be yours, no trouble. If there were a chance you see… to tell you what you mean to me Well sometimes the words get lost at sea, mumbled or sung so quietly So the form’s filled out in triplicate, The font’s award-winning and the colour’s good, My referee says you really should, So I’d be yours at the double... If the museum needs a new dinosaur, In a notice pinned to the kitchen door, In that position I’d yell for sure, “I’d be yours!” at the double If there were a chance you see… to tell you what you mean to me Well sometimes the words get lost at sea, mumbled or sung so quietly “I’d be yours!” at the double “I’d be yours!” no trouble
11.
Three Kings 03:50
I’m sure you knew, that summer was in retreat now, Rebuttoned anew, wistful of view but thinking of The way that love needs, the breeze for its optimism, Kicking up leaves, just out of reach, those chances missing Three kings, while you slept were travelling Ten miles, in an ageing tiny car These days, suitors aren’t a mystery You think, replacin’ makeup on the tray Three dreams, of loving in the winter time One theme, “take me far away from here” For once, avoiding baubles on the tree To find, something lasts eternally I’m sure you saw, that postcard that hit the doormat Handwritten means, stamped for a dream... distracted by— The radio’s on, could that snap in the air be your heartbeat? Sleighbells all wrong, but those Christmas songs always leave you smiling Three kings, while you slept were travelling Ten miles, in an ageing tiny car These days, suitors aren’t a mystery You think, replacin’ makeup on the tray Three dreams, of loving in the winter time One theme, “take me far away from here” For once, avoiding baubles on the tree To find, something lasts eternally
12.
Not from above! It’s become rather clear just as we’d all feared right at the start That light in the sky’s not enough, but the face we saw, was yours True, the rumours compelled, but the newspapers sold us a pup At the top of the hills it was cold, and that henge an unspeaking clock Pious words can get mumbled (and) True... the story’s always taller than trees True… we only wanted something to believe in If truth is beauty, be someone we can see... Not from above! Couldn’t see as near or far, the ravine claimed our car, but we looked Cos’ we’d heard that your name was a star, to be gazed and loved upon Well, no tablets of stone were on sale at the summit’s gift shop but our mission was suddenly clear, your name would reign from here Not from... a leaflet from the seminary Not from... a hope for the extraordinary Not from... documents imaginary Not from... any thought that we would marry Not from... wisdom partly planetary Not from... overconfident vocabulary Not from... an order from the military Not from... the fear of being solitary Not from above! Felt as sure as we had about anything we’d ever done And your face in the dark was the light, a sight as bright as the sun... The terror was firmer when love was the thunder we felt And that thought was a smile a word, and by firelight we melt… Pious words can get mumbled (and) True... the story’s always taller than trees True… we only wanted something to believe in If truth is beauty, be someone we can see... True… biased hearts often stumble Cos the truth is somewhat harder to read And true, we only wanted someone to believe in So if truth is beauty be someone we can see...

about

An album of songs that accompanies the book of stories... also entitled: "Not From Above!" (Unbound, April 25th, 2019).

credits

released April 25, 2019

All songs by Alexander Mayor

Produced by Myles Clarke and Jonathan Hucks
at Grand Cru, London.

Alexander Mayor ~ singing, guitars, bass, programming
Mike Monaghan ~ drums and percussion, trumpets
Joe Thompson ~ piano on Should We Fix It Together,
At The Double, First Impressionists, and Not From Above
James Hill ~ double bass
Clare Younis ~ backing vocals
Samantha Whates ~ backing vocals
Amy May ~ violins and arranging On Peacock Island
Garo Nahoulakian ~ guitar solo on Your Hot Friend
Members of Chaps Choir ~ singing on Not From... Above
Chris Bailey ~ additional drum mixing

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about

Alexander's Festival Hall London, UK

Alexander's Festival Hall is a sort of English pop confection, a mix of regretful ballads and occasional pop rainbows. New album 'Not From Above!' is both music and book of stories. Twelve lush romantic songs and a collection of darkly comic thought experiments.

(Author pic by Travis Elborough.)
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