Not From Above!

by Alexander's Festival Hall

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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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Track Name: Not from...
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
Track Name: On Peacock Island
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
Track Name: The Greats
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
Track Name: Deleted Scenes
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
Track Name: Your Hot Friend
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
Track Name: First Impressionists
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?§
Track Name: New Zounds!
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
Track Name: Should We Fix It Together?
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?
Track Name: Loyalty
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
Track Name: At The Double
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
Track Name: Three Kings
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
Track Name: Not From Above!
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...

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